TOLLEY Angell started musical theatre company North Devon All Starz when he was just 17. Seven years later, after sell-out productions including Goodnight Mister Tom and Peter Pan, the young director is departing for a West End opportunity.
Sadly this will mean that next year's show will be cancelled, but Tolley is keen to stress that the team will be back in full force in 2015.
"The plan for All Starz is to cancel next year's show but still carry on with the 2015 show, The Phantom Of The Opera," said Tolley. "At the moment the trips and workshops will be put on hold until further notice.
"Sometimes opportunities arise and you must go with them. I have been offered a job in the West End as a chaperone, looking after child actors during shows and rehearsals."
Under Tolley's leadership the All Starz have gone from strength to strength over the years. When they first started they had only six cast members and performed West End Nights at Pilton Community College, but each year since has seen a steady rise in cast and audience. The last two shows, Bugsy Malone and Goodnight Mister Tom, were held at The Queen's Theatre with 60 cast members – and sold-out audiences – for both.
"I'm hugely impressed with where the society is now," Tolley said. "This is thanks to the extremely talented young people we work with and our hard-working production team.
"We are called 'All Starz' as I believe putting on a show is a team effort. It doesn't matter if you are the leading role or pulling the curtain, everyone is needed to make a great show and that is the ethos that has run through all of our productions."
Tolley hopes to return in time for the 2015 production, but is confident the All Starz can continue to grow in stature.
"There's such a wealth of talented young people in Devon," he said.
"And with the right direction they can go anywhere. It's been a pleasure to be with All Starz, and long may they continue."
Anyone interested in joining the group can find more information on the North Devon All Starz Facebook page.