Comic duo hope to have the last laugh
MARTYN and Cole have previously entertained Stoke's Top Talent audiences with their comic take on everything from The Full Monty to Freddie Mercury.
But this time they say they're redoubling their efforts to win.
The comedy double act, both aged 17, are regulars at the contest and this year they hope to finally taste victory.
Martyn Baxter and Cole Dunn, both ex-Chesterton Community High School students, stumbled upon comedy during a school performance when they accidently had the audience howling.
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The duo relish the challenge of surprising both the judges and the audience and are keeping their plans for their Victoria Hall audition on July 28, a secret.
The winning act in Stoke's Top Talent will take home £2,000 and be offered a professional contract to appear in The Regent's pantomime Cinderella alongside Jonathan Wilkes.
If the pair sail through the auditions they will once again be performing at The Regent theatre in September for the heats stage of the competition.
Martyn, of Wright Avenue, Chesterton, said: "We love being on stage at The Regent, so we're hoping we get through to the heats and the final.
"It's the first place other than school where we have performed and made loads of people laugh."
Martyn and Cole first entered the competition in 2008, then aged just 13.
They were picked for the heats thanks to their version of Jailhouse Rock.
A year later the duo had yet more success, making it through the auditions by acting out a comedy sketch to the music Gimme Some Lovin' by the Blues Brothers.
During the heats they had the audience in stitches with a routine that started with a Full Monty take-off and closed with a tribute to Queen singer Freddie Mercury.
They weren't picked by the judges but still made it through to the grand final after winning the audience vote.
At the final they performed a comic strip routine to You Can Leave Your Hat On but lost to singer Su Annagib.
Cole, of Rowley Avenue, Chesterton, said: "It was brilliant to get to the final on the audience vote because that meant we'd made a lot of people laugh. In a way that was better than getting put through by the judges."
The friends have gone on to perform at a variety of events, including a fund-raiser for the Donna Louise Children's Hospice at the Mitchell Arts Centre, in Hanley, last month.
Martyn and Cole, who are studying at the Jill Clewes Academy for Theatre Arts, in Newcastle, hope to make a career out of comedy.
They admit they have their eyes on the Top Talent prize.
Martyn said: "We used to attend the Wilkes Academy so we know what it's like to work with Jonny. Being in a panto with him would be great.
"It'd also be good to get a professional contract and the £2,000 prize would be handy for a couple of skint students."