Schoolboy takes centre stage in Macbeth in tribute to his father who died before Christmas
A schoolboy has taken centre stage in a performance of Macbeth, in tribute to his father who died before Christmas from leukaemia.
Myles Newman took the lead role in the production by Wrekin College which was postponed after his father, former long-service Shropshire Star employee Steve Newman, died just days before it was originally due to be staged.
But Myles bravely returned to the stage this week to pay tribute to Steve who died on November 21, aged 50.
The school in Wellington dedicated the performance to Mr Newman and also arranged a collection for a new charity foundation established by his family to help those battling leukaemia.
Money raised will be divided between a number of causes including the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s Ward 23 and O’Connor Haematology Unit.
Myles, 15, said his father had hoped to live long enough to see him take on the famous Shakespeare role but he was now determined to give the “performance of his life” to make his dad proud.
Tim Firth, headteacher at Wrekin College, said Myles was an "extremely talented young man who had shown great maturity" in supporting his family - and his father - through a very difficult time.
He said the school had given Myles the decision on postponing the play and felt it was more than appropriate to dedicate the show to Steve’s memory.
“Myles and his family are a vital part of the Wrekin College community and it was important for us to do everything we could to try and support them through this,” he explained.
“His father spoke to me personally about how proud he was of Myles and I know he would have loved to have been there to see him have this moment and that will be very emotional for all concerned.
“As a school will be there for him and cheering him on and feeling that pride in one of our own.”
Sue Newman, Myles’ mother, said the entire school and particularly the cast of Macbeth had been wonderfully supportive, rallying around her son during the saddest of times.
She added: “I am so very proud of Myles and know that Steve would have been so proud too. It was not easy for him to go ahead but I think he so wanted to do this for his father and I am sure he will be watching him somehow.
“Rather than a sad occasion it is such a positive way to celebrate the great relationship between Steve and Myles. Steve loved a show and we felt such a comforting circle of support in that theatre from all of the Wrekin College family and I can’t thank them enough.”
Macbeth opened on Wednesday night, continued last night and ends tonight.