MARK BRITTON & IAN R. WALLACE have been working together creating a new musical - “Three Trees” - based on the traditional folktale. It goes into rehearsal in January 2007 with the production scheduled for St. Peter’s, Loudwater in March.
Among the cast are RYAN WITNEY and PAUL BACON (also both Beaconsfield XYT-ites!). More information later.
From JOHN VARAH: [ex-Beaconsfield] (sent in response to an enquiry from IRW of “what have you been up to?”!)...
“After leaving Beaconsfield, I worked for several years with Michael Hulls in Industrial and Domestic Theatre Contractors whilst being a freelance lighting set and props designer on the touring circuit. Lack of security made me take up a lighting teaching post at Dartington College of Arts for some of the time. Michael left the company in the late eighties and I moved to Brighton where I was moved more into combined arts and community theatre and visual art. I founded a large studio group in Brighton in 1991 which now owns its own building and is self sufficient with 100 artists, galleries and workshops. The reward for all this was to finally land the job of Artistic Director at Same Sky. Same Sky is an Arts Council funded community arts provider producing projects ranging from exhibitions to site specific theatre, village plays and carnival parades. I’ve kept my hand in on the lighting front and was lucky to light the lantern section of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony!!
“It’s obvious in some ways, but needs saying, that without the confidence, support and chances to experiment that Young Theatre offered, I would probably be up some strange bureaucratic backwater. Same Sky also works to empower young people to take a hold of their creative potential and I am sure the soft but straight methods we use come from my experiences with you and Nigs and Aviva etc.”
Success! We’ve heard from one of the “stalwarts” of the early days at YT North Harrow! PHILIPPA KITCHEN, who currently lives just outside Liverpool, has recently given up full-time employment as a secondary teacher after 14 years teaching Design & Technology, and having “been involved in various school productions - mostly with costumes, props and stage design - never with acting - and (having) produced a fashion show, so, the knowledge gained at YT has been put to good use over the years!”
She and her partner are planning to move to France next year - where they have a house in need of renovation! She writes: “As the house is not wind or water tight we are spending the winter here and I hope we might get "down south" before next April. If we do, I will try and time it to visit YT Beaconsfield!” and adds that having been surfing through the YT web site “the photos of all the shows are great to see” “I have many, many happy memories of events and people and seeing glimpses on the web brought them all back!”
From SARAH BAMFORD: [ex-Harrow]
“I clicked on the link today and then opened up the photos and reviews from 35 years ago. I cannot believe how moving that was and I wanted to write to express my appreciation. I will now return the favour by dusting off my photographs from productions in North Harrow during the 70's and attempting to scan them to you for use on the site!”
- and she has done so!
Hope you noticed! TIM HILL, the Young Theatre Webmaster, has designed a new logo specifically for these XYT pages of the Young Theatre website.
IRW has been in contact with someone who was around right at the “birth” of The Young Theatre. TRICIA WARDLE [aka Patricia Maskell that was!] - who was very much involved with Ian in the initial setting up of the St. Alban’s Junior Drama Group (that was to become The Young Theatre) at North Harrow in 1964. Tricia now lives in the USA and has recently retired, and has 2 step-children and 3 grandchildren... hope to hear more from her in 2007
PETER FISON writes: “Just a quick update from an XYT member who’s come full circle in a strange kind of way... After 15 years of a rather dry and but solid career in IT, I've taken the plunge and set up my own video production company (www.alchemyfilmworks.com) to resurrect the creative side of my poor underworked brain! If you have any good contacts in the hotel/travel/sports sectors I’d really appreciate any introductions, and might well need extra actors, camera crew, voiceover artists, or script writers if things pick up as I hope they will. So maybe the old XYT network could help at some point.”
MARK OLDKNOW is directing his own adaptation of Twelfth Night for Beaconsfield Theatre Group - set in a jazz nightclub. As innovative as ever, Mark’s interpretation includes live jazz and a pole dancer!
The classic Shakespeare comedy with a modern twist
It’s a hot summer night in Club Illyria - the only place in town. A storm at sea, a ship sent to the ocean’s floor and into the heady world of Illyria comes Viola, mourning the loss of her brother. Soon she is working for Orsino, disguised as a man, and sent to woo the fair Olivia on his behalf. Cross dressing, mistaken identity and seduction interweave with the strains of the torch song, burning in the night. Lovers and strangers collide in Shakespeare’s sublime comedy. A stylish and breathtaking adaptation that will please all ages with its wit and eccentricity. Sung live, numbers include Ne Me Quitte Pas, Feeling Good, Fever and Stay With Me Til Dawn. To be performed at The Beacon Centre, Beaconsfield on 15th-18th November starting at 8pm www.btg-theatre.org
From TIM HILL, Company Producer of Tight Fit Theatre
22 - 24 December 2006: Cinderella.
Tight Fit Theatre in the Community brings this favourite of pantomimes to Beaconsfield. Traditional panto fun for everyone.
Jack and the Beanstalk 2005: “this panto was sharp, rewarding and looked fantastic”
at The Curzon Centre, Maxwell Road Beaconsfield
Box Office Now Open - Mon-Fri 10 am - 4 pm : 01494 677236 www.tightfittheatre.co.uk
PETER BARKER is directing The Merchant of Venice at the Limelight Theatre,
Queens Park Arts Centre, Queens Park, Aylesbury on 26th - 28th October 2006 at 8.00pm.
“Venice is a Bohemian hotbed of vice and corruption. One man needs money to get the girl of his dreams. He borrows from his sugar-daddy at a horrendous cost to them both. As their peers enjoy the hedonism around them, Bassanio and Antonio come to see that love can exact a fearful price.” www.qpc.org
MARK OLDKNOW has returned to The Young Theatre at Beaconsfield for a second stint as their Artistic Director - this is in addition to being Chairman of The Beaconsfield Theatre Group - and Artistic Director of the Tight Fit Theatre company!
From TIM HILL, Company Producer of Tight Fit Theatre
12 - 14 October 2006: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“The moon’s silvered light bathes the sleeping Puck and, filling him with midsummer madness, encourages him to create chaos in the lives of six Athenian lovers. Tight Fit Theatre begins its eleventh season with Shakespeare’s most enduring and endearing comedy. MARK OLDKNOW and the company weave a spell that will delight all ages. With Tight Fit Theatre’s usual emphasis on clarity and accessibility, this exhilarating new production from the Swan’s resident company promises an evening of magic and mayhem.
Post show discussions and linked schools workshops are available, please contact the company for details. Performances at 8pm (Schools’ matinee 1.30pm 12th October). www.tightfittheatre.co.uk
XYT has re-established contact with GEORGINA HARVEY - who is working as a programme producer/director at the BBC in Bristol
JONATHAN FOWKE, Director of Imari Entertainment Limited writes:-
“Recently I teamed up with RICHARD MORRIS and we filmed some comedy sketches for a BBC Comedy Soup competition, please could you use the link below to view it and rate it out of 5 stars. The more people who give it a good rating, the better the chance of winning!! https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/comedysoup/A13087082
Let me know what you think of it! Thanks.”
WILLIAM (Bill) TAPLEY is expecting an addition to his family (any minute now!) - and is appearing in a recent movie release on DVD.
Second In Command' - a Jean-Claude van Damme flick, where he’s the second male lead. We’re not sure if he’s one of the survivors!
Before July 2006
Where are they now ?THE YOUNG THEATRE (at Harrow) 1964 - 1982
We heard from a number of ex-members, among them:- Kay Koré - Jacquie Russell - Graham Bishop - Dino Stavrides - Louise Gill (née Brooks) - Martin Wallace - Rod Baker - Bob Baker - Peter Barker & Heather Joy Garrett (who subsequently turned up with their daughter at the YT Beaconsfield production of "mister Scrooge"!) - David Maskell (who came to see YT's 2004 production of "Alice" at Beaconsfield having stage-managed the original production in 1968!!) - Tim Balkwill - Peter Lock, who in June 2004, met up with the current Young Theatre members at the British Final Festival of One Act Plays in Aberystwyth, and joined in the celebrations with his family! - and most recently Janet Conway (née Fiferman); and Sarah Bamford.
Quite a number have graced the theatrical profession in one form or another including... actors
Robert Glenister (a patron of YT who, amongst many other things, has been seen in Hustle on BBCtv and The Badness of King George on Channel 4);
Paul Bhattacharjee (seen in Twelfth Night and Guantanamo in London, Hobson's Choice at the Oxford Playhouse, and in YT patron David Edgar’s new play Playing with Fire at the National);
John Grantham (aka Graham), who now has his own successful agency;
Andrew Kitchen (Actor/Director/Producer);
Graham Bishop (TV/Film Prop. Buyer);
and Janet Gwyn (Costume Designer)
... and we're sure that there are many others about whom we don't have details!
Ryan Witney (recovered from playing Scrooge for IRW(!) and Lucky in Waiting for Godot with Tight Fit Theatre)
There are quite a number of others who, we believe, are working in various
production offices around the country in a variety of entertainment-oriented jobs. Let us know if you can fill in any gaps.
Amongst the many others with whom we have had contact in the last year
or so are:
Emma Blagden (née Read) whose son Elliot is currently a member of YT Beaconsfield
Helen Chaldecott (née Wallace)
Lucinda Crowther (née Smalley)
Joanne Moran (née Burnage) whose daughter Annabel is now a member of YT Beaconsfield
* Please note that stories are edited manually and may or may not appear in a few hours’ or days’ time.
How YOU can help with this Archive!
If you have any information about past Young Theatre productions, or information about any Young Theatre activities, then do please get in touch; and if you know any other ex-members of YT, please tell them about this site - we would very much like to hear from them too.