There's no stopping this ASPIRE newbie from Taree

This week, 11-year-old St Joseph's Primary School, Taree student, Conner Langley will take to the stage at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre, in the original ASPIRE production of There's something strange about Marvin McRae.

A major triumph, considering Conner has a congenital heart defect. 

“I’ve had a lot of surgeries, they didn’t think I would live this long,” Conner said. 

Conner’s mother Leigh said, through everything, singing has always been Conner’s favourite past time. 

“He could sing before he could talk. The preschool teachers would get a good giggle out of it.” 

Conner has grown to have a soaring voice and bright, personality to match. He successfully auditioned for the ASPIRE production with the Lion King famed song “I just can’t wait to be king”.

"It’s really cool I love it, I feel a lot more confident," says Conner Langley on performing with ASPIRE.

Since February he has travelled to Newcastle twice a week for rehearsals. He will be joined by 125 Catholic School students in the production which starts this Thursday, and runs for four shows. Amongst 16 other songs, Conner will perform a solo of ‘Alright’ by Supergrass. 

“I play a teacher, who is pretending to be young again,” laughed Conner. 

The rest of the plot follows Marvin, a young boy about to make the transition to high school. Marvin doesn’t fit in, and wonders if his imaginary friend Gus might be part of the problem. A heroic act, could see him finally accepted.  The production’s anti-bullying story line is carried by the strong humour and emotion created by the young cast. Conner admits nearly crying whilst rehearsing in one of the final scenes, because of how well acted it was. 

“Getting to sit and listen to them they sound so professional – it blows your mind,” said Conner’s mother Leigh. 

For Conner, who is trained by local singer Stacey Lee, this was his first production and hopefully not the last. He is interested in anything singing and drama related and would love to pursue a career on stage or on television. 

“It’s really cool I love it, I feel a lot more confident.” 

Students from Conner’s primary school St Joseph’s will get to attend the show this Friday. 

Story originally published by the Manning River Times and can be read here.

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