Ex-Members of The Young Theatre

from both Harrow and Beaconsfield

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This page was last modified on 18 April 2021
Over the festive season, we heard from .....

ex-Harrow ... Ian Mortimer, Roger Balkwill, Andrew Kitchen, Kay Locker (aka Koré) and Jacquie Russell

ex-Beaconsfield .... Felicity Norrie (née Wiseman), Clare White (née Murrell), Paul Bacon, Mark & Janine Britton, Jane Fryers, Rebecca Mitchener (née Wallace), David Owen, Dave Farey, Catherine Lambert (aka Mansfield), Helen Chaldecott (née Wallace), Sheila Newland (aka Anderson), Debbie Lewis and Bill Tapley


Shakespeare As You Like It Dave Farey, Catherine Lambert and Ian R. Wallace of Troublemaker Theatre were all involved in the annual Shakespeare As You Like It project for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead which involved twelve local primary schools. Year five and six children are introduced to some of the stories and themes in Shakespeare during the Autumn term and then, with Troublemaker staff helping to generate initial ideas for rehearsal, they prepare and perform short pieces of approximately 15 minutes inspired by his plays. The performances all take place over four mornings at Norden Farm Centre for theArts with the children also assessing and evaluating each other’s performances as well as finding out about the “behind the scenes” technical aspects of the productions and experiencing an historical costume workshop. Year nine pupils from Altwood Secondary School help provide technical support for the performances.
This non-competitive project was originally set-up by Maureen Bukht—a local teacher and theatre enthusiast—who organised it for ten years: Troublemaker has been heavily involved for the last five. This year Troublemaker Theatre took over full responsibility for organising the 2010 project which took place from November 16th - 19th; with a technical training workshop for the Altwood students on the 15th.
The Project also managed to involve Helen Sharman for the first time. Helen led the assessment and evaluation sessions. The (largely ex-YT by now) team were delighted to see Clare White (Murrell) arrive on the first day as she was involved with one of the school‘s productions! They were also pleased to have a visit from England's youngest Mayor, 29-year-old Cllr Catherine Bursnall, Mayor of the Royal Borough, who stayed for the whole of the session on the Wednesday.

From David Owen: We have a special guest artist that will be at our Christmas Music Dinner at Datchet Golf Club on Thursday 9th Dec 7.30pm. Straight from his highly successful season in Cyprus, Chris Weeks will be singing the songs we all love from Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble. Don‘t miss him, he‘s outstanding. Tickets £24 which includes a two course Christmas Dinner. We must be christmas crackers! For more information and booking, please contact David Owen by phone or email.

Congratulations to Chris (Kit) Lambert and his wife Ceri who are expecting a baby in May next year.

As seen on TV.....Bill Tapley turned up in a re-run of Heartbeat on ITV3 playing 'the cad' again!

Andrew Kitchen has forwarded this, which may be of some interest to anyone who wants a diversion from the Olympics!
Shakespeare United Shakespeare United for 2012 is aiming at a truly historic celebration, for everyone in the UK, of the work of William Shakespeare in song, dance, performance, comedy, slapstick, anything. Shakespeare United for 2012 started with the performers' union, Equity, and now it has the National Union of Teachers on board. But it would really love to hear from anyone who'd like to join in. Please visit Shakespeare United for 2012 or contact Ian Flintoff, Convenor

The Young Theatre (at Beaconsfield) and the Shared Intent Theatre Company present JB Priestly's An Inspector Calls with Ryan Witney as Inspector Goole. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 13-15 October at 7:45 pm in The Beacon Theatre, Holtspur Way, Beaconsfield. Inspector calls The Birling family’s life is torn apart when an Inspector arrives bearing the tragic news of the suicide of Eva Smith. Priestley’s brilliant and haunting thriller twists and turns as, one by one, the family’s exploitation of the working-class girl are exposed. Box Office and more...

Master Builder A Month in the Country Patron David Edgar’s new adaptation of Ibsen's The Master Builder was given it's world premier in the Minerva Theatre as part of the Chichester Festival 2010. According to IRW, who saw the production, it was a very good one - aided by some excellent performances and very good inventive staging. IRW was also able to see A Month in The Country in the Chichester Festival Theatre. Interestingly, this was an adaption by Brian Friel, who wrote Winners - a very successful YT festival play back in 1990. Again this was an excellent production, well acted and exquisitely staged. IRW was also able to catch up with two actors who were in that production that he worked with whilst at the Beeb - Kenneth Cranham (Aston in The Caretaker) and Caroline Pickles (who played the title role in Bluebell).
More reviews: A Month in the CountryTelegraph | Mark Ronan ],  Master BuilderThe Stage | Indie London | The Public Reviews ]


Yet another Mark Britton musical! JOAN of ARC A MUSICAL is an all new theatrical production to be shown for the first time at All Saints, High Wycombe from 3-6 November 2010 starting at 8pm (with a matinée on the Saturday starting at 3pm). Written and produced by local author Robert Bromley Davis, with music composed by Director Mark Britton. For more information see: www.joanofarcamusical.com and Wikipedia    http://www.joanofarcamusical.com/

Robert Genister ended his involvement with Spooks when in the first episode of the new series on BBC1, the “ex-Home Secretary” was revealed as a “baddie” and met his end by poisoned malt whisky!

Melissa Alder (ex-YT Beaconsfield) is to support David Owen (Honorary Life Member at Beaconsfield) at his latest Musical Rendezvous event for the Beaconsfield Lions: “An Evening of Music and Song with a delicious supper at the FITZWILLIAMS CENTRE Beaconsfield on Saturday 30th October at 7.30pm. Tickets £17.50 per head. A chance to enjoy an evening of Music and Fun with artists from 'Music Rendezvous' ANALIZA CHING ( Our Virtuoso Violinist) following her performance at the Royal Albert Hall with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra CAMBRIDGE YOUTH JAZZ QUARTET and MELISSA ALDER (Royal Opera House) Helen Witney, David Owen. Saskia Witney. Musical Director and Keyboard ROGER WITNEY. Don't miss out … book now. PHONE DAVID OWEN 01494 671074 OR EMAIL davidowen80@hotmail.co.uk The evening in aid of 'Musical Rendezvous Young Artist Fund' to cover the expenses of providing professional accompanists for local young musicians to entertain the disadvantaged groups in our community (Beaconsfield Blind Club, Bradbury House, Over 65 Clubs (at Curzon Centre) Old Town Over 60s Club. Maidenhead Blind Club. Stoke Poges Blind Club

Heard on the grapevine: Jess Benest is getting married this month. Good luck Jess!!

Seen on TV: Bill Tapley in a re-run of an Ultimate Force episode on ITV4 … Anne-Marie Crawford’s name as First AD in the credits of a repeat of The Inspector Lyndley Mysteries … and also a brief (non-speaking!) appearance of Rebecca Mitchener (née Wallace) on the BBC Ten O‘clock news in connection with the installation of the Vatican Raphael Tapestries at the V&A for the exhibition, for which she is the V&A’s Project Coordinator. (IRW & TJRH are going to be visiting this later this month when they’ll also be taking in the Diaghilev exhibition of giant theatre cloths designed by Picasso, original costumes, set designs, props etc.)

Tim Hill: Sometimes this news may be about the Archive itself! Having recently discovered a reluctance of Google and other search engines to properly index some YTA pages (with albeit slightly dodgy html) the Yahoo and All the Web search engines seems to overlook a few errors introduced by some otherwise time-saving tools. It finds more pages. Try finding yourself with this:

I have been through the site and repaired these <script> issues so Google et al should be able to see everything that's visible soon. There are some cast lists which are scanned images though; these will soon be supplemented by (searchable) textual versions.

JULY 2010

Cindy Linley as Jean Genie in Aladdin     It has been very sad to learn of the sudden death of Cindy Linley at home in Little Chalfont. The funeral will be at Amersham Crematorium at 1.45pm on Friday 6th August. [More details] Our thoughts are with the family. [My enduring memory of Cindy is her 'flying' across stage (on a tea trolley) as Jean the Genie in TFT's Aladdin in 2002. :-) Tim.]
Taking up Bill Tapley‘s generous offer of arranging for reduced priced seats for ex-YT members to see Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych (where he is coming to the end of his stint playing Jake Houseman) - Peter Sharman went on July 9th - whilst Helen Chaldecott (née Wallace) organised a trip with sister Rebecca, and mum Sue on July 24th and they all met up briefly with Bill afterwards. The show - and Bill - received rave reviews from all concerned!    
     Rob Bowen and Ben Crowden are appearing in The Deadly Factor - the darkest of comedies by Jan Moran Neil at the Amersham Community Centre on Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August. []
You may have noticed that The Young Theatre at Beaconsfield are planning J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls for performances in October at the Beacon Centre. Any ex-members who would like to be involved should please get in touch.      An Inspector Calls
MAY 2010
Sharon Calcutt is now a tutor in Stage Management at RADA

Suzie McPherson (née Buckley) is playing Viola in the Chiltern Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night in June at Hall Barn, Beaconsfield.

Andy brimelow From Andy Brimelow: I was in YT at Beaconsfield in the late eighties (1984-8). I am now living in New York, working for the UN. I was working for the Red Cross movement for the last 5 years (in Africa, Asia and London). Just married (last September) and we're expecting our first baby in July this year. Nothing that exciting! I just happened across the YT website and thought I'd join in somehow. Hopefully when I'm back living in the UK, I'll be able to come and support whatever's going on, and even get my kids involved. [Andy was YT at Beaconsfield's Publicity Manager in 1985/6; and it's Treasurer in 1986/7 - as well as actively participating in a number of YT shows during the period 1983-88 including Here We Go, The Pied Piper, The Wiz, Snow Queen - and going on the South Coast Tour in the summer of 1987.]
APRIL 2010

Paul Bacon - The Ultimate Elton
From Paul Bacon: I’m diversifying - currently concentrating on my Elton John tribute act - Ultimate Elton - Have a look at my website - www.ultimateelton.com - It’s a lot of fun and people seem to like it! I've attached a photo for your amusement! I'll probably be involved in Mark[ Britton]'s production - Joan of Arc, and also singing with another local group - Songbirds...

William - Bill - Tapley We have just heard from Bill Tapley. He is playing one of the leads in Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych: Dr Jake Houseman (Baby's Dad) until 30 July. He says that if anyone formerly of or currently in YT wishes to go, he can arrange premium seats at less than half price (Mon thru Fri matinee - £30 instead of £62.50) and a third off Fri night, Sat mat, Sat night (£62.50 instead of £95) and should be able to show them round afterwards. Anyone interested should please email Ian who will pass your messages along to Bill. (Please note this is only if requests are from current or ex-members of The Young Theatre. Please do not ask if you do not qualify.)

Two quick snippets: Debbie Lewis is moving to Alderney from Berkshire and Karen Ogborn is expecting a baby in May. [Not connected, of course!!! Congratulations Karen, 'bye Debbie. Good luck to them both - ed.]

MARCH 2010
Not this time, we’re afraid! Unfortunately Michael Hulls got pipped at the post for a Laurence Olivier Award for this year by the Rambert Dance Company (for an outstanding year of new work) in the Outstanding Achievement in Dance category. Nevertheless, he deserves many congratulations for being nominated for such a prestigious award. So - well done, Michael!

What a lovely surprise! We've heard from one of the founding members of YT Beaconsfield ... David Blott ... who, with his family, was so involved in the early days of the group. Amongst their many contributions: sister Susan served on the Committee; mother Patricia directed Lady Precious Stream in June 1971; and father David used his contacts to acquire props and scenery for YT shows from Pinewood Studios!
David writes ...
Db in LION10 Dear Ian, Have just been looking at the archive of the Beaconsfield Young Theatre. I notice that you have listed the Blotts in your ‘Where are they now?’. Sadly, my father David Blott died a few years ago of cancer but my mother Patricia Blott is well. They enjoyed many years of retirement together and we sometimes talked about those ‘theatre’ days. My sister, Susan, is the school secretary of Windsor Girls School and last year became a grandmother (she has 4 children). I'm hoping I've got a few years to go before one of my 3 children make me a granddad! I'm a deputy head of a primary school in London and although I've not done any acting since (although you could argue that part of the art of teaching is acting) my theatre training has come in very useful in the number of plays etc I've had to organise over the years.
I can see that you've dedicated your life to youth theatre and the catalogue of work in the archive is impressive. I hope you are taking it easier nowadays, although I do remember the theatre being rather addictive. Attached are some pictures from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe production which I didn't see on the website. I do have a box in the cellar with all my bits and pieces from my days at Beaconsfield and when I get a chance I'll dig it out and see if I have anything else that is not on the website. Have such fond memories of those productions - so thanks for the memories. Regards, David Blott

We've heard again from John Varah - in response to a note from IRW letting him know about Michael Hulls' Olivier nomination - who writes that he is about to become a grandfather. He agrees that Michael really deserves recognition so fingers crossed. His Brighton life is very good. He is still doing 70 hour weeks trying to keep his company afloat. They are an Arts Council RFO (Regularly Funded Organisation) but always under threat as budgets are about to tighten. His folks (Bill and Phyll) are still extant and have their diamond wedding this summer. John Varah a grandfather?! Now that's made IRW feel even older than he is ... which is saying something!!
Beaconsfield Theatre Group From: Rob Bowen
I am in two three-handed one-act plays by Peter Shaffer in April. The plays are in a double-bill from Wednesday April 28th to Saturday May 1st at the Beacon Centre in Beaconsfield. The first play is called White Liars and the second (in which I play the title role) is called The Public Eye. Oh yeah, and I am the only person in both plays!
Tickets can be booked at http://www.btg-theatre.org or 07880 962 514.
From Andrew Kitchen ...
Artsbowl Competition for Theatre Enthusiasts Artsbowl Competition for Theatre Enthusiasts
deadline: 13 April 2010
Artsbowl is running a competition in celebration of World Theatre Day on 27 March. Enthusiasts, students and amateur performers are invited to post a blog of between 200 and 300 words, or a video clip of up to one minute long, about why they love theatre — on or off the stage.
Further details of the competition are available at http://artsbowl.com/i-love-theatre-competition-terms-and-conditions.
We have received the following from John Varah in Brighton where he is the Artistic Director of the arts charity Same Sky
Dear Friends
Same Sky Flyer We hope you get a chance to visit our exciting Young Peoples Art Exhibition at Phoenix Brighton.
It's a great opportunity to see some of the company's school work and celebrate the creativity of all our young artists.
The show is on till 28th March and is open Wednesday - Sunday 11am - 5pm
Its also lit up at night!!!
Artistic Director
So - if you're in the Brighton area - why not drop in?

Olivier Awards 2010: Andrew Kitchen has brought to our attention the exciting news that Michael Hulls has been nominated for an Olivier Award!
Andrew writes:-
In case you haven't heard (I have just today) Michael Hulls of yesterdecade's YT (and for me Dartington of almost 30 years ago) - this is starting to depress me despite the good news - has been nominated for an Olivier Award this year for:
Michael Hulls for his lighting designs for Russell Maliphant's TWO:FOUR:TEN at the London Coliseum; and for Russell Maliphant's AFTERLIGHT and for Ex Machina & Sylvie Guillem's EONNAGATA at Sadler's Wells.

Thought it should be on YT's website! Cheers. A
Full list of nominations


We’ve heard from Jim Culverhouse (ex-YT Harrow) who writes “Just stumbled across the website! Brought back some memories I can tell you. Still remember being in The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew alongside Robert Glenister”.


Another Britton musical! .. Lost - “a musical for today” - written by Mark Britton and Graham Wilkinson, (both of course XYT) will be performed at St.Andrew‘s Church, Hatters Lane, High Wycombe on 25th, 26th & 27th March - starting each evening at 8pm. Tickets available (£6 Adults; £4 Concessions) from St.Andrew‘s Church Office 01494 529668 or 01628 526845.

Seen on TV . . Rick Warden joined the cast at Holby City (BBC1) as consultant Toby Geddes who successfully succeeded in irritating virtually everybody around - staff and patients alike - on day one! Playing “out-of-character” obviously(!) - but is this an indication of a short-term contract?!

Also Robert Glenister appeared as a guest star in the final episode of series two of Law & Order on ITV1. as DS Jimmy Valentine - a policeman with a doubtful pedigree! (Yes - another one . Pie in the Sky and Frost being two previous outings in this characterisation, although with some variation!)

Melissa Alder (ex-YT Beaconsfield) is to support David Owen (Honorary Life Member at Beaconsfield) at his latest Musical Rendezvous event - the St. David's Day Musical Dinner at Datchet Golf Club on February 27th. David has also enlisted the services of singer/harpist Lucy Bunce. Melissa studied at the Royal Academy of Music and has been a professional singer for fifteen years. Having begun her career at Glyndebourne she is currently a soprano at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She also is using her expertise closer to home in classes aimed specifically at making singing special for children in the Chalfont St Giles area with Over the Rainbow Singing.


William Tapley (Bill) - (another ex GD at Beaconsfield!) - turned up on Ready Steady Cook (BBC2: 26th January) partnered by chef Paul Rankin and got his “Winner’s Plate” by just one vote!

Robert Glenister Robert Glenister has returned as Ash Morgan in a further series of Hustle on BBC1 - whilst Virgin 1 are also re-running an earlier series!

Amelia and Megan

Helen Chaldecott (née Wallace) has given birth to a second daughter - Amelia Grace. She arrived safely on 16th January, much to the obvious delight of her big sister, Megan. Mother, baby, father, big sister - and grandparents! - are all well!!

Rob Bowen (ex-GD at Beaconsfield) is appearing in the Fourways production of Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet at the Wycombe Swan Town Hall on February 4th, 5th & 6th at 8pm. However it should be noted that the play contains strong language, may offend some people and is not suitable for children.
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