A rising star in theatre has sent a surprise message to a Chester youth theatre ahead of their opening night.

Chumisa Dornford-May, who previously trained at Chester's On The Mark Youth Theatre (OTMYT), surprised the current members with a good luck video as they prepare for their upcoming shows.

The students are set to star in "Monty Python's SPAMALOT" from July 10 to 12, and "The SpongeBob Musical" from July 13 to 14, at Christleton High School.

Ms Dornford-May, is playing the leading role of Christine Daaé in certain 'Phantom of the Opera' performances at His Majesty's Theatre.

In the video message, she said: "If I wasn't there every Saturday at 10am… I would not be where I am now," and encouraged the cast to "Savour every moment, I hope you smash it, have the best time, good luck!"

The video can be found on OTMYT's Instagram page.

Former On The Mark Youth Theatre student Chumisa Dornford-May, currently appearing in "The Phantom of The Opera" in the West End  (Image: Yellow Belly Photo)

After graduating from Christleton High School in Chester, Ms Dornford-May studied at Mountview drama school in London, where she received the coveted Elaine Paige Scholarship.

She later starred in 'Aspects of Love' with Michael Ball, and 'Evita' at Curve Theatre in Leicester.

In March, she joined the long-running box-office hit 'The Phantom of The Opera.'

While studying at Christleton High School and OTMYT, Ms Dornford-May took part in productions, including playing Delores Van Cartier in 'Sister Act' and performed 'Defying Gravity' in the 2019 production 'Magic of The Musicals.'

Simon Phillips, OTMYT's co-founder and artistic director said: "All of us at On The Mark are so very proud of Chumisa and all that she has achieved in her career so far including her current role in "The Phantom of The Opera.

"It was so lovely of her to take the time to send a good luck message to the casts and crew of Spamalot and Spongebob."

He also added: "This is a great chance to see two incredible shows right here in Chester."

OTMYT's artistic team are getting ready for their annual Summer Workshop week, which will be held in Chester from August 12 to 16.

To find out more and book tickets, visit www.otmyt.co.uk.