A YOUNG dancer from Troon is set to take his first steps into the acting world by starring in a film about one of the UK’s biggest ever boybands.

Mark Samaras, 25, will be showing off his talent for dancing, singing, and acting on cinema screens soon as he appears in Greatest Days, a musical film based on stage musical The Band.

The former Troon Primary pupil has been away in Greece filming for the project alongside cast members Aaron Bryan, Dalvin Cory, Joshua Jung, and Mervin Noronha, who make up the other members of the band.

Also joining the cast is Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Hard Sun), winner of the 2020 BAFTA Television Craft Award for Breakthrough Talent; Jayde Adams (Serious Black Jumper, Alma’s Not Normal); Alice Lowe (Black Mirror, Sightseers); Amaka Okafor (The Responder, The Split); Marc Wootton (Nativity); Lara McDonnell (Belfast); Jessie Mae Alonzo (Little Joe); Nandi Hudson (Army of Thieves, The Nest); Carragon Guest; and Eliza Dobson.

The film is being directed Coky Giedroyc (How to Build a Girl) and is written by Tim Firth (Calendar Girls).

Ayr Advertiser: Mark and his bandmate co-starsMark and his bandmate co-stars

It’s described as a feel-good universal story of love and friendship about five best friends who have the night of their lives at a concert featuring their favourite boy band and 25 years later their lives have changed in a myriad of ways as they reunite to reminisce about their past and discover their future. All to a backdrop of Take That’s most iconic and popular songs.

As well as Athens, Greece, filming has taken place in Clitheroe and London. Once filming in Athens is finished, the film will then be in post-production and will be released by Elysian Film group in 2023.

Mark, who has trained in classical ballet since the age of nine, is taking the plunge and testing out his acting skills on the big screen for the very first time.

And it’s somewhat of a dream-come-true for the young Ayrshire dancer, having previously said that his career aims involved working in TV/film.

Mark told the Advertiser: “When I did my last dance job before the pandemic, my friend asked me ‘what do you want to do after this?’ And I said I want to work in film, I want to do a film and I want to work with Drew McOnie. And Drew McOnie is the choreographer of this film. So I kind of killed two birds with one stone.

“So getting to work with him has been a massive, not even just a job highlight, but a career highlight for me.”

Mark is hoping this job will lead to more TV/film jobs in the future too, saying: “I would love to get into more TV and film. And I suppose it’s that thing of just waiting for the film to come out and kind of see what else happens. Yeah, and what sort of traction it picks up. But we’ll see.”

On his highlights of filming so far, he said: “Just getting to see how film works. And as dancers work, the five boys were quite used to all previous jobs we’ve done. Just kind of being in the background of other artists, or if you’re a dancer in a film, you’re usually supporting artists. So you’re not in every number, you’re not a part of the film, you’re in one number out the back. So I think for me kind of being able to showcase myself and be a significant role in the film.

“And lastly, the four other boys that I work with, they have been the nicest, most talented people I’ve ever worked with. And we’ve really bonded as a group. Really, really close. So that has been really special. I’ve made some really incredible friendships from this job.”

Mark was keen to recognise the help he received in Ayrshire on the way to reaching his goals.

He said: “I would like to thank obviously my family for all the support, but I have to specially mention Janice Marshall Stage School in Irvine and the Dance School of Scotland’s because without them I would not be here. They kick started my love for dancing and stage and screen.”