ASPIRING actors from a Uttoxeter high school are currently performing their production of Sherlock Holmes to crowds at the world's largest arts festival.
The Alleyne's Fringe Group is putting on The Hound of the Baskervilles for the week at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Joe Mathews, director of the project who also plays Sir Henry Baskerville, said: "Over the last three shows we've had some great audiences – 120 people in total have been to see the show already and our name on the mile is starting to spread through regular advertising.
"We are all absolutely delighted and immensely proud of all that we have achieved thus far.
"The support we are getting from everyone has been fantastic, and the success of our local performances only whet our appetite to perform on an even bigger stage.
"It is a daunting yet exhilarating prospect to be a part of the biggest arts festival in the world.
"It is important not to forget the charity that we have been supporting along the way, The Donna Louise Children's Trust, whose work is absolutely crucial in the lives of children in need of care.
"We have been doing a great deal of fund-raising for this worthy cause – bag-packing, sponsored swims, sponsored silences, a karate contest, Beatles gig night – and we just hope that all we have raised will make a big difference to the charity. We would like to wish them all the best."
George Edwards, who plays Sherlock Holmes, said: "The cast and I are just so excited to be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world.
"It's the only thing we think and talk about. "We can't actually believe it's happening."
More information about the group's journey to the Fringe is online at www.alleynesfringeproject.co.uk
The amateur theatre group will be performing at Venue 45 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival until Saturday.
The group of Thomas Alleyne's pupils, aged between 14 and 18, first performed the production in July last year to audiences at the school, and have been working since then to secure dates on the renowned stage at the arts festival.
They then went on to perform to audiences in Stafford and Burton.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes.
Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon, in England's West Country, and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin.
Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr Watson investigate the case and this is the story the production is based on.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland's capital city.
More information is available online at www.edfringe.com