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Memories of The Young Theatre
Sarah Anderson (née Collins) Richard Attlee (Harwood) Elliot Blagden Rachel Bradley (née Day) Sally Camps (née Harwood) Sian Case Nigel & Karen Davies Chris Feasey Tim Gray Jo Roundell-Greene Michael Hulls James Lipscombe Tim Orlik Cameron Gower Poole Penny Robertson (née Harwood) Gabby Vautier Bev Walshe Martin Wiseman
Martin was instrumental in helping set the Young Theatre at Beaconsfield’s wheels in motion.
Martin and his wife, Lynne, have been living in Gates Mills (outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio, USA a few miles from Lake Erie) for nearly 27 years:
“I am still working full time doing cardiology (cardiac electrophysiology to be exact), and have no retirement plans as I enjoy it so much, and someone is prepared to pay me to do it. Pretty good gig, huh? Sadly since leaving the UK in ’89, I have had no theatre activities as a participant, but thankfully there is pretty good theater (note change of spelling) here. We have one company that does more modern and occasional experimental pieces, and another that does Shakespeare and modern classics (2 of each each season) rather well. Saw Loves Labours Lost over last weekend.
“Lynne is a PhD counselling psychologist, working at the Free Clinic of Cleveland and as a mental health worker for the Red Cross. The Red Cross work takes her to disaster sites (hurricanes, floods etc.) and to do counselling work with returning veterans and their families.”
Martin and Lynne’s children are married; they live in LA, Phoenix and London and most have their own children.
(From Facebook, 11 May 2015) “I was having a little nostalgic Internet search and came across the 50 year anniversary of the Beaconsfield youth theatre. I was an inaugural member and remember so many of the people on the 'where are they now' page. I moved to Kent in 1973, but I went on to drama college, married an actor and have 2 sons in the film business, so I think you could say it had a big influence on me! It was a special experience. Glad to know that it's still going strong.”
After leaving YT, Michael trained in dance and theatre at Dartington College and was awarded a bursary by the Arts Council to attend dance lighting workshops with Jennifer Tipton in New York and Paris.
Over the last 20 years he has worked exclusively in dance, particularly with choreographer Russell Maliphant. Their collaborations have won international critical acclaim and many awards: Sheer won a Time Out Award for Outstanding Collaboration, Choice won a South Bank Show Dance Award, Push, with Sylvie Guillem, won four major awards including the Olivier for Best New Dance Production and AfterLight won two Critics Circle awards.They also collaborated on Broken Fall, commissioned by Ballet Boyz, which also featured Sylvie Guillem and won an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. In 2007 Michaels and Russells work was the subject of Ballet Boyzs Channel 4 documentary Light and Dance and The Daily Telegraph hailed their collaboration as ‘ possibly the most important creative partnership in modern British dance.’
Michael has also worked with Ballet Boyz on their productions of Russells Critical Mass, Torsion and most recently on Fallen, winner of the National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography. He also lit the Ballet Boyzs productions of Christopher Wheeldons Mesmerics and Liam Scarletts Serpent.
Eonnagata, Michaels collaboration with Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage and Russell Maliphant, for which Michael won the 2009 Knight of Illumination Award for Dance, and along with AfterLight led to him being nominated for the 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and a second Knight of Illumination Award.
He has also worked over many years with Akram Khan on his pieces Fix, Rush, In-I his duet with Juliette Binoche, and most recently on his highly acclaimed full length solo DESH, winner of the 2012 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, and In the Shadow of Man. He is also working on Akrams forthcoming duet with Flamenco virtuoso Israel Galvan.
Michael has also worked with Javier De Frutos on the pieces Cattle Call, Paseillo, Los Picadores, Blue Roses, Elysian Fields and the controversial Eternal Damnation, and with Jonathan Burrows on The Stop Quartet, and on Walking/Music, commissioned by William Forsythe for Ballett Frankfort.
In 2009 Michael was delighted to become an Associate Artist of Sadlers Wells Theatre and in 2010 his contribution to dance was recognised with his entry into the Oxford Dictionary of Dance. He was also nominated for the 2012 Theatre Managers Association award for Acheivement in Dance for his ‘brilliant contribution to lighting for dance; in particular for DESH, Torsion and The Rodin Project.’
In 2014 he received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. Here is a recent interview by Michael with Ismene Brown the dance critic of The Arts Desk.
After leaving YT six years ago, I went to the University of Birmingham and did Drama there to achieve my 3yr BA Hons. While there I had a truly fantastic time, making many friends and learning a lot about myself - as one does at University! While there I was in many plays from As You Like It, Howard Barker's take on Hamlet; Gertrude, The Cry, to Marat/Sade to name but a few! I even dabbled in directing a couple of Pinter's. However it wasn't until I was coming to the end of my second year that I decided to apply to drama schools and really realise that acting is and has always been my one love and my guiding star, all thanks to Young Theatre and the support and confidence it gave me throughout my teenage years, and the valuable lessons I learned there about all aspects of the theatre and language.
So, I applied to many drama schools for their MA Acting courses and found myself on the waiting lists for ALRA and Arts Ed and managed to get into East 15. However, one morning I received a phonecall from Sue Dunderdale at RADA to inform me that I had managed to secure a place on their MA course! This shocked me and left me speechless and terrified, but how could I turn down such an offer?
My year at RADA was unbelievable. I discovered more about myself and about other people and language and physicality than I ever could have wished for. My muscles were torn and bruised, my emotions all over the place and me and my fellow 15 coursemates were getting ill from how hard we were striving, but it wouldn't have been worth it unless all this had happened. It needed to happen. The journey I went on while at RADA was spectacular and the experiences and stories I will treasure and hold dear forever.
I am now a professional actor, having just finished an 8 week tour of a theatre in education piece and have several auditions lined up, one for a production of Richard II which I have never done, so fingers crossed.
I'm also a recorded songwriter, as I sing and write my own acoustic music, with a view to possibly take it stateside in the coming years! But, work in progress, as ever.
I would just like to extend my undefinable thanks to the Young Theatre for helping me realise that I have an unrivalled love for acting and for language and for instilling in me the confidence to pursue it. I truly believe that without the Young Theatre, I would never have realised this.
I am married to Jacky and have five step grandchildren (5-22 years old) moved to Swindon in 2004 to get rid of the mortgage as Jacky had to medically retire from working in the hospital.
Who remembers the 'green door' on the camp site and the party on the beach!! [South Coast Tour 1981? - Ed]
I still live locally in Holmer Green with my beautiful wife (ex YT treasurer at one time) Karen, and we have two young sons one John (29) and Mark (26). I have also recently become a grandfather to Jamie (frightening!)
Unlike so many others I have not had any continuing involvement in the theatre but I know that the many skills I learnt, both tech-wise and people-wise, have assisted me over the years.
I set up a land and architectural survey company in 1981 when I returned from an overseas tour working in Libya, which I still participate in although my two sons now handle most of the stress while I prompt and direct occasionally from off-stage. Strangely enough this was combined with a catering company for a couple of years which was Mark Brittons fault! Again YT experience assisted us in this venture as well.
I am still addicted to classic Lotus so if you see an old Elan or two pottering around Penn give me a wave!
YT definitely inspired me and played a part in my going on to study Dramatherapy.
More recently I've been teaching English from my home here in Bath where we host students who come to us on homestay programmes. At the moment I'm not teaching but hosting two students as paying guests while they attend language schools here.
When we're not hosting my partner Jeremy and I enjoy getting away in our campervan to explore the joys of the southwest.
Meanwhile, my son Joseph is in his second year at Oxford Brookes where he's studying Film. He seems to have a real enthusiasm for it and would love the chance to live and work in the US.
Martin and I are living in Somerset and I am very involved with local politics. I am a Lib Dem District Councillor with responsibility for Economic Development, Environment, which is all the waste and recycling and street cleaning, and Equalities. As you might imagine it keeps me busy. I have two sons, Tom 32 and Charlie 25. I also have two grandsons, George 3.9 years and Arthur 2.10 years. They live in Tunbridge Wells.
When I am not rushing around going to meetings I do lots of cooking and entertaining. We love walking in the lovely Somerset countryside and spend a lot of time in Lyme Regis where we have a beach house. We have a dog, Montgomery, two cats, Zorro and Alto Nimbus and six sheep, Marsie, Molly, Polka, Dot, Binky and Bunty!
I am married...happily, and live in Lewes in Sussex with two little urchins who apparently are related to me. Congratulations to YT on it's 50th birthday, long may it continue...
[He is a professional actor, known for playing Kenton Archer in The Archers on BBC Radio 4 and for films/TV including My Week with Marilyn (2011), A Candle in the Dark: The Story of William Carey (1998) and Topsy-Turvy (1999). He has appeared in numerous TV programmes including Midsummer Murders.IMDB
I grew up to teach English and Drama for 4 years, then left teaching for boring stuff like HR but before I became a parent, generated a few one-off productions for local children outside school drama. I even directed Ernie's Incredible Illucinations once.
Completely accidentally, I'm now privileged to live within 8 miles of the RSC at Stratford, and still adore the magic of the live production. Sadly, although both my offspring enjoy visiting the theatre, they never took to contributing to productions and I genuinely feel they missed out on something.
In connection with my business, I have recently put on a tiny performance on YouTube, a whole new adventure; take a peekbig basn, hope you smile! I learned all about performance skills at Young Theatre!
I own and am Managing Director of a packaging company called Dairi-Pak
I live just outside Shrewsbury in Shropshire and spend most of my spare time bringing up two young daughters 6 and just 4months old.
In love with boating and spend most of my weekends on the North Wales coast (we have a boat and a house there)
YT gave me the confidence and drive to take on many challenges in later life and I still love the buzz of performing in front of hundreds of people albeit in the Corporate World (without tights!)...
These days I work in the not-very-theatrical, but no less interesting world of molecular biology and genomics, sequencing DNA mainly for the non-human research community (that is, research into things other than humans, not research by non-humans!) and programming liquid-handling robots.
I am married with two sons.
YT gave me a passion for theatre and the confidence to focus on developing both myself, and a career in the arts. I have since been very lucky to work at some amazing places, including the Young Vic as Producer and Creative Associate, as Producer for Punchdrunk and Manchester International Festival and I'm currently Head of Creative and Professional Practice for the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music and Drama alongside running a small producing company EchoPresents.com.
Lots of fun and lots of hard work.
Some fun [YT] productions and a stint on the committee gave me the confidence to join two drama groups at University and help start a new one designed to encourage those who thought they couldn't act to give it a try.
There is no doubt that Young Theatre helped give me the confidence needed in the working world and when I moved to Seattle 13 years ago and was looking for something to get involved with, I joined the board of a local theatre company which had a really strong youth theatre production and workshop programme.
None of my 3 children have the acting bug but we are so glad they too have found the things they love to do on Sunday afternoons (and are happy it keeps them away from all the boy-girl distractions at school!)
PS Rick Harwood was out of my league but I listen to The Archers every day for a slice of home and it brings back a good few memories.
PPS still in touch with Sara Collins (down the coast in SF)
I'm now a Recording Engineer in London. I work for Trevor Horn out of Sarm Studios where we're currently working with Seal on his new album.
After YT, I spent 3 years at LIPA studying Sound Technology, then some time interning at recording studios before landing a job as a studio assistant and somehow swiftly climbing the ranks to engineer!
I have to acknowledge though that YT taught me a great deal about being organised (or not as the case may be!). Working within time constraints, and under pressure was great training for everything that followed!
And heres some updates we received earlier…
[Received 2012] I have been living in sunny California since 1994 and am the proud mother of 3 teens who are giving me a real run for my money J. I finally graduated last summer with a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley. The 4 year degree took me 10 years Im a slow learner … what can I say? Im on Facebook
[Received 2012] I am living in West Sussex, near to Chichester. I am married to Michael, and have two daughters aged 18 and 21. I work as a Relate counsellor with adults and young people; which I really love. My younger daughter, Lizzie, is the drama nut in our family. She is about to start a Drama Foundation course at the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Acts and hopes to go to one of the major drama schools next year to do a BA.
[Received 2011] I am living in Wiltshire now - between Hungerford and Andover. Not involved in the theatre (well, let's be honest my acting certainly was not my strong point). With 3 sons - two of whom did do some acting at school - and enjoyed it - Jack the eldest even took to the stage for a production at Oxford whilst he was there - and founded a very original Arts Club - The Oxford Comma club.
How YOU could help with this part of the Archive!
If you were a member of The Young Theatre - at either Harrow or Beaconsfield - we will be delighted to hear your memories of your time with the group. That's productions or any YT activities! Please get in touch with us and share this with any other ex-members you know. We want to hear from everyone!
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