Ex-Members of The Young Theatre

from both Harrow and Beaconsfield

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This page was last modified on 30 January 2020
December 2013

Shellacs at Dorchester
In case you missed it … Jane FryersSearch the YTArchive - yes, she did appear in Len Goodman’s Dance Band Days on BBC4 on Monday, 23rd December although you will be forgiven for missing the all-too brief appearance of The Shellac Sisters in the opening dance hall sequence! However they did at least get a verbal name check from our Len … whom I am sure would have awarded them a “seven”!

Jonathan FowkeSearch the YTArchive organised a pre-Christmas Beaconsfield XYT Lunch at The Squirrel in Penn Street (courtesy of one Steve MackenSearch the YTArchive!) which was attended by XYT-ites Richard MorrisSearch the YTArchive; Dave FareySearch the YTArchive; Catherine LambertSearch the YTArchive; Russell BrownbillSearch the YTArchive; GrahamSearch the YTArchive & DawnSearch the YTArchive Southgate; Tracey WarrenSearch the YTArchive; Clare McKennaSearch the YTArchive; Tim HillSearch the YTArchive; Sophie Dale (Stockley)Search the YTArchive; HelenSearch the YTArchive & JohnSearch the YTArchiveSharman; Becky SharmanSearch the YTArchive; James RiderSearch the YTArchive; Sophie Charles (Harrison)Search the YTArchive; Gemma Curran (Stockley)Search the YTArchive; IRWSearch the YTArchiveand many offspring including Morris Minor!! Andrea Willison (Fowke) was also there and even Liz BeckmannSearch the YTArchive looked in for a quick drink!

Becky Sharman, James Rider, Helen Sharman, John_Sharman, Sophie Charles, & Graham Southgate Clare McKenna, Gemma Curran, & Sophie Dale Dawn, Morris Minor (Gregory) & Richard Morris Jonathan Fowke Tracey Warren & Andrea Willison

The Festive Season: Ian and Tim wish all ex-members of YT a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2014.
Do get in touch if you have any news of your own, or even if not!

We understand that Jane FryersSearch the YTArchive is going to be making another TV appearance as one quarter of the Shellac Sisters on Len Goodman’s Dance Band Days which is scheduled for transmission on BBC4 on Monday, 23rd December at 9pm. Lookout for the blond DJ in a period dress !!

Shellac Sisters
YTA 50 Logo

IRW has continued to hear from ex-members of Harrow YT: Paul DinerSearch the YTArchive and Gareth CuttingSearch the YTArchivein particular have got in touch and have supplied their memories about YT productions. Various bits and pieces of YT memorabilia have been starting to arrive (especially from Louise GillSearch the YTArchive) which will certainly add to the Archive — hopefully with more to come! We have also heard from Robert GlenisterSearch the YTArchive, who is going to be searching his cupboards for YT stuff! So thanks to everyone who has, or is, contributing! Now to stage two - how about some memories from the ex-members of Beaconsfield? Ian has sent an email out (and Tim has also posted it to facebook) although we had roughly a 25% “bounce” rate, (pleaselet us know if you change your email address!!). We‘re quite hopeful and waiting for the remainder of the responses!!! So far we have already heard from James IvensSearch the YTArchive, Tim GraySearch the YTArchive, Nigel DaviesSearch the YTArchive (& Karen née BeesleySearch the YTArchive), Jo Roundell-Greene (née Harwood)Search the YTArchiveand Cameron Gower PooleSearch the YTArchive — with more to come (we hope!)

November 2013

In case you missed it … Robert GlenisterSearch the YTArchive appeared on the Drama channel in the first of the Sally Lockhart Mysteries — The Ruby in the Smoke (a 2006 production) — as a heavily be-whiskered “baddie” called Selby who came to a decidedly watery and soggy end!
YTA 50 Logo

IRW Search the YTArchivehas been busy trying to contact as many ex-members of YT Harrow in the build-up to the 50th Anniversary of the first meeting of the group in January 2014. So far he has heard from quite a number of ex-members including: Tricia Wardle (née Maskell) Search the YTArchive and of course IRW's own brother Martin Search the YTArchive, both of whom were there at that first meeting; Andrew KitchenSearch the YTArchive; Kay KoréSearch the YTArchive; Jacquie RussellSearch the YTArchive; Paul MoranSearch the YTArchive and Mike (Midge) WilliamsSearch the YTArchive both of whom were Group Directors at Harrow. Louise Gill (née Brooks)Search the YTArchive - who's now living in California - put IRW in touch with a number of other XYT-ites from Harrow including Claire ToemanSearch the YTArchive. Clare's daughter Holly Gibbs is also an actress. After a successful acting career, Clare set up and runs Crocodile Casting. Ian has also heard from John Grantham (aka John Graham)Search the YTArchive who also followed a successful acting career by setting up a successful agency - Grantham Hazeldine. Ian is still tracking people down, but is already collecting some very interesting stories which we hope to collate into a special page, with their personal memories of YT, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the YT in January next year.

Paul Moran and his 3 boys
Paul Moran and his three boys

Clare Toeman and her two children
Clare Toeman and her two children

Dame Sybil in 1945
Dame Sybil in 1945

It was great to see and hear our first patron, Dame Sybil Thorndike Search the YTArchive, in full flow (!) in that wonderful voice of hers in the BBC2 programme celebrating the formation of the National Theatre (Wikipedia) at the Old Vic.

The NT celebrated its 50th anniversary this month.

October 2013
Kit Lambert
Kit Lambert Search the YTArchive (biog.) was the writer of the Casualty episode transmitted on BBC1 on Saturday 26th October.
Yet another string to his bow !

Rebecca Mitchener (née Wallace)Search the YTArchive has left the V&A after some twelve years and has taken up a new post with Historic Royal Palaces, based at Hampton Court Palace. Although based at Hampton Court, she will be heading a Collections Management and Documentation team that looks after Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, the Tower of London and the Banqueting House in Whitehall as well as Hampton Court itself. (Incidentally her husband Robin also works for HRP as a Food Historian, cooking in the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court and the Georgian kitchen at Kew - and is the featured chef on the “Cook Along” videos for both kitchens).

September 2013

Globe Playground We know that few of you fit the age range (5 to 11) of this target audience, but even so we encourage you to explore the Globe Playground! This is the Globe‘s new child-focused website which was launched recently. As well as fun Shakespeare related facts, quizzes, galleries and craft activities in the Playground, there are also some amusing games in the ‘Play’ section. If you know anyone who might enjoy this please send them the link: shakespearesglobe.com/playground.

IRW has recently heard from Clare Cid-Fuentes (née Deely) Search the YTArchive who writes: “I joined in 1977. I remember a production of The Insect Play that we performed at the old Harrow Arts Centre in Harrow Weald. A couple of memories - Robert GlenisterSearch the YTArchiveas the Rat Catcher when we did Pied Piper (it was directed by the wonderful Midge [Williams Search the YTArchive] and I remember there were signs all over the dressing rooms sayin Ad Lib! (but I didn’t know what that meant!). Robert decided to cartwheel onto the stage. He had such an amazing energy. Also when we did some sketches in a church hall somewhere (not one we habitually used, but could have been somewhere around Ickenham??). One of the sketches wasn’t going so well... The two young actors doing a 2-hander completely forgot their lines and the whole thing ground to a halt, so Robert walked onto the stage and improvised a whole new character and plot, to get them off the stage. So good. I was just a young child. I also remember that half way through the Insect Play (I was the Blind Ant!), we had a complete power cut half way through. I seem to remember it was for an hour, but I may be wrong. I went on to study the Performing Arts in Leicester and now teach, write scripts and run projects in UK and Spain. One is a children’s Summer theatre project running for the past 11 years. On With The Show Productions. I blame it all on Young Theatre’s profound influence on me as a child! I loved it. Keep doing all that you do.”
[Many thanks Clare this helps fill a few gaps in The Young Theatre's Dark Ages - any more information from this period gratefully received.]


In case you missed it..(2).. Pleased to report that Lily MorrisSearch the YTArchive appeared on University Challenge representing Bath University against York last week. Unfortunately her team did not win but we wish her the best of luck if she ever has another opportunity.

In case you missed it..(1).. Jane TreaysSearch the YTArchive interviewed Prince William - his first interview since the birth of Prince George - in the documentary “Prince William - New Father New Hope” - which was on ITV on 15th September and currently on itvPlayer The programme, for which Jane also did the narration, highlighted his passion for wildlife conservation in Africa and particular his involvement with TUSK.

Ian dismounts a glider
As you can see, IanSearch the YTArchive managed not to crash in a ball of flames over an unpopulated area! Having just climbed out of a glider at Booker Aerodrome after a birthday trial flight given to him by RebeccaSearch the YTArchive and Robin. Ian's next ambition is to sit on the front of The Swarm at Thorpe Park. Not really: his doctor won't let him and please don't let on about the glider.

Yes. It's happened. Belated congratulations to Catherine LambertSearch the YTArchive and Dave FareySearch the YTArchive on their engagement. And about bloody time..! ;-D

Fire damaged goods. After the Fire
A new production starring my office, a magnifying glass, a joystick, paperwork and the Sun. That is the big burning yellow thing, not the “newspaper”. Yes. Some idiot [me: TimSearch the YTArchive] left his ‘hands free’ magnifying glass on his desk and the afternoon sun was enough for a small boy to torture a wasp. Downstairs, we could smell that neighbours were having a bonfire. They were not. A few minutes later SiobhanSearch the YTArchivewent upstairs and saw smoke emerging from above the closed office door. I opened it. The smoke alarm went off (at last) and for the next few minutes we re-enacted Backdraft and Towering Inferno. Actually it was about the size of a fire in a wastepaperbasket but on my desk against the side of a PC. But the mess! The smoke! The flames! The choking! The eyes! Yuck.

To cut a long story short: two fire extinguishers; a dozen microfibre cleaning cloths; a waterfall of Flash; hoovers; double-washed and four coats of emulsion on the walls; every single little thing in the office washed and stored away. A month later, everything is restored except the terminally burnt things (see photo) and some clutter has ended up in the garage including about two dozen theatrical pyros which were two feet from the fire, next to various aerosols and a gas blowlamp. The newish PC survived, thank goodness. Not worth an insurance claim is it? All back up and running now. Sorry for any pause in transmission! Just do me one favour: have two fire extinguishers in the house. Without them, who knows what our outcome would have been, even with the Brigade stationed at the end of the road? Thank goodness we had not gone out. But, oh! My lovely joystick!

July 2013
We have been saddened today (18/7) by the news about Paul BhattacharjeeSearch the YTArchive whose body was found below Splash Point Cliffs at Seaford, East Sussex on 12 July and confirmed today [BBC News].

Obituaries: The Guardian · The Independent · RSC · The Stage · Wikipedia
May 2013

The Globe is to experiment with the tradition of the child actor companies of Shakespeare’s time by forming and training a company of talented 12 to 16 year olds who will perform John Marston’s The Malcontent. This was first performed in the Blackfriars Playhouse by the Children of the Chapel, and later adopted and amplified by Shakespeare’s own company. It will be performed in the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse which opens for its inaugural season in January next year. The Malcontent is scheduled to run from 3rd to 19th April 2014.

IRW met up recently with Clare White (née Murrell) Search the YTArchive who this year set up White Space Drama, an after-school drama group for the pupils of Cookham Rise Primary School. Meetings on Mondays (Years 2, 3 & 4) and Wednesdays (Years 5 & 6) are proving very popular and, as its strap line says, the children think it‘s “serious fun!” Good to see yet another XYT-ite passing on the messages of YT !!

April 2013

As of writing (17th April) we are pleased to see the current tally of signatories over at aTheatre4Beaconsfield is 255. That's almost a whole audience!! Please keep on supporting this.

Jane Fryers meet The Queen In December 2011, we reported that Jane Fryers Search the YTArchive who is an award-winning milliner www.janefryers.co.uk, well known for her use of recycled materials, was designing and making a number of hats for an exhibition “Crafting Excellence” at Fortnam and Mason between February & June 2012 in celebration of the monarch‘s 60 years on the throne. As a follow up to that, we can report that - on 17th March in a documentary about the Queen‘s Jubilee Year - Our Queen on ITV, (which featured the first joint official engagement of the Queen, Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge) - Jane (dressed to the nines, we might say!) was seen being introduced to Her Majesty and talking to her about her creations. As she walked away, the Queen was heard to say "Fish leather? How hilarious!".
The latest exhibition featuring Jane’s designs “Redesigning Fashion - How to Change the World in Style” opened at Stockport Council's Hat Works Museum on 19th January 2013 and runs until 7th July 2013

Wouldn't it be nice if Beaconsfield had a theatre? Though there are performance spaces in the town, they have always been an adjunct to a cinema, a church, a youth centre, a sports centre, a school or simply are a small part of a multi-use community space. Well, there's a chance we could persuade the powers-that-be to let us have an itty-bitty piece of land on the Wilton Park estate in order to build our own theatre. Graham Southgate Search the YTArchive explains in what we hope is a very widely-circulated email (please cut and paste it from this page if you wish) :

From: Graham Southgate

Sent: Wednesday, April 03

To: Everyone

As some of you will be aware, I belong to all 4 theatre groups in Beaconsfield and generally love what I do with each group.

What I don't like is lack of access to a quality theatrical space, and know that many of you feel likewise.

There is a possibility that the council can be persuaded to allocate some land within the Wilton Park development (what is currently The Ministry of Defence School of Languages in Old Beaconsfield), but only if we ask with a loud enough voice - at the moment we are whispering in the wings...if they can hear us at all....

I think each group does a great job with the resources that it has to hand, but an independent home dedicated to theatre is what I believe we should all be striving for, that can be run for the benefit of the substantial theatrical and arts community in Beaconsfield.

THERE IS NO SUGGESTION OF ANY FORM OF MERGER OF ANY OF THE GROUPS. The groups already co-operate, and the majority of the actors have worked with multiple groups, and this is particularly true for the technicians. Each group already shares its rehearsal home with other activities. Wouldn't it be great to share your home with other theatrical activities.

All we are asking is that all the groups co-operate to lobby the council and Inland Homes to allocate land to us in their plans.

If you agree, please go to  aTheatre4Beaconsfield.org  and sign the petition - it is the big blue button on every page. Put in a comment if you wish, but most of all please sign the petition. There is lots of details and suggestions on that site as well.

This is not a short term plan. If the council do say yes, we will have several years of planning and fund raising to fulfil a dream - we are really looking to future generations to benefit from our work now.

Please, please support this endeavour and the petition.

If you agree with this - please feel free to forward it as you see fit, edit etc.. Please just spread the word.

Thank you


March 2013

Jane T At the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards on 14th March at One Whitehall Place, sponsored by the Discovery Channel and voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio, Inside Claridge’s - Jane TreaysSearch the YTArchive documentaries shown on BBC2 - won the best documentary series award. More details: Guardian, Telegraph, BBC News

January 2013
Welcome to 2013. I have just added the site's 100th show - the 1974 production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder, directed by Aviva Wiseman. Any photos anyone?
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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.

Ian R. Wallace
(YT Archivist)
Tim Hill
(YTA Webmaster)

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