FIVE children from Inverclyde will next week take centre stage alongside singer Marti Webb in one of the world"s most famous musicals.

The talented youngsters are among 20 children from all over Scotland who were chosen from 200 hopefuls for the King and I - the Rodgers and Hammerstein show made famous by the 1956 film starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

Brothers Aidan (7) and Ronan Donnachie (4), from Greenock, along with David Laing (11) from Gourock, Dillon Kane (5), from Wemyss Bay and Giovanna Porceddu (9), from Greenock, will don black wigs and lavish costumes as the King"s children.

They auditioned for the roles after their parents read in the Telegraph an appeal by the King"s Theatre in Glasgow for dark-haired children.

Proud mother Fiona Laing said the auditions in the Woodside Hall in Glasgow were tense and quite nerve-racking.

'They had to sing, dance and some of them had to read during five rounds of auditions,' she explained.

Marie Porceddu added: 'The schools have been very good letting them have time off.

'Giovanna"s teacher at St Mary"s has asked her to give a little talk on her experience when it is all over.' As it is a professional production the children all get paid for their performances and become fully signed up members of actors" union Equity.

Marti Webb plays Anna Leonowens, brought to the court as tutor to King Mongkut"s children in Bangkok during the early 1860s.

The musical runs at the King"s Theatre from Tuesday 6 May until Saturday 17 May.