A Dumbarton student who has loved performing since the age of five has landed a key opportunity to appear with one of the UK’s top theatre groups.

Matthew Don, 16, will appear on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Theatre Royal when they bring Romeo and Juliet to Glasgow later this month.

Along with other aspiring thespians, he will join the professional cast to share the role of chorus in what is possibly Shakespeare’s most popular and best known play.

Matthew, who attends Dumbarton Academy, told the Reporter: “I am really looking forward to what will be amazing experience appearing which such a renowned theatre company.”

The youngsters set to perform in Romeo and Juliet were selected at the Theatre Royal’s drama workshops.

Although delighted to have been chosen, Matthew, from Clydebank, will not be fazed by the dramatic setting of the Theatre Royal as he has performed on stage there seven or eight times in various shows.

The teenager’s love of musical theatre was sparked when, at the age of five, he attended classes at the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy in Clydebank.

He told the Reporter: “I was a quiet child and my mum enrolled me in the hope it would bring me out of my shell.”

This proved to be the beginning of Matthew’s love for musical theatre and in the years to follow he has appeared in many shows.

He said: “One highlight for me was in January this year when I played Tony in West Side Story at Webster’s Theatre in Glasgow.

“It was the first time I had played a leading character and it was an amazing experience. There was a great cast, which included a lot of friends, and that made it even more memorable.”

Matthew, who lists Ben Platt and Ramin Karimloo as among the singers and actors who have inspired him, is confident his appearance with the Royal Shakespeare Company will further boost his career in musical theatre and he has his sights set on the bright lights of London.

Erica Whyman, the production director of Romeo and Juliet, said: “In 2016 we brought my production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation to Glasgow, and it involved a number of local school children.

“We were bowled over by the impact the production had on the young people who took part and those who came to watch.

“I want to build on that hugely positive experience, as we stage Romeo and Juliet, opening up a dialogue with young people in schools in ways we have never before been able to do.

“By inviting these young people to join us on stage I want to celebrate the diverse talent of the UK and highlight the revolutionary heart of this most timeless love story.”

Alison Cowan, Creative Learning and Community Partnerships Manager at Theatre Royal, said: “It was an honour to have the opportunity to invite our Young Theatre Royal participants to audition to be part of the cast in the RSC’s Romeo and Juliet.

“I’m confident that this will be a very enriching experience as they take part in the telling of this classic tale alongside one of the UKs most prestigious theatre companies.”

Romeo and Juliet will be at the Theatre Royal from March 19 to 23, with Bally Gill as Romeo and Karen Fishwick playing Juliet.