TEENAGER Jacob Roberts has beat off competition from 600 hopefuls to become Altrincham’s answer to Billy Elliot.

He has won a role in a major ballet production, based on the classic novel, Lord of the Flies.

The 16-year-old from Greenway will join the ensemble of Lord of the Flies at the Lowry and he said he was shocked to be chosen for the role.

Jacob, who studies dance and drama at Knutsford Academy, was one of 23 young people to be chosen as a result of a project started by New Adventures, the company behind LOTF, and its charitable arm, RE.

He said: “I am so privileged to be on this project, working with such talented, compassionate and amazing people. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world - except maybe the other 23.”

New Adventures is the company led by Matthew Bourne, a choreographer renowned and respected for his innovative and exciting ballet productions.

Jacob is also a member of the Centre for Advanced Training in Dance at the Lowry, which he started attending in September.

Hr said:“The sensation of dance, which is what I enjoy the most, is very difficult to explain - to me it’s a language, and I see myself and other dancers as translators that can take dance and give more than just movement, they can give emotion and expression to an audience.”

* New Adventures present Lord of the Flies at the Lowry from April 2-5 at 7.30pm. The run also includes matinees and tickets are available from 0843 208 6000 or thelowry.com.