Group Director, The Young Theatre (at Beaconsfield): 1978-81 & 1988/9
Mark joined The Young Theatre at Beaconsfield in September 1971 at the age of 12, just in time to be given his role for The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe - holding Burnham Hall's stage door open for the cast to go back and forth! Having nearly given up at this point, greater things were just over the horizon and he was given his first part in The Four Year Change, a one act play which was part of a production under the banner of Stage 4. from there there was no stopping him, with leads in Alice & The Deserted House (1973); and Our Town (1974) - and also becoming Under 14 representative on the committee (where he was introduced to 'twiglets' and Hillman Imps!).
The following years saw Mark starting to direct as well as act, and move up the ladder on the committee, from handling the finances to publicity and then to Deputy Group Director. In 1975, Nigel Davies, the Group Director, went to work abroad halfway thrpough the season and left Mark to pick up the reins and so get his first taste of being at the helm. As a result, 'O' Levels went out the window, but then a college course at Slough in Hotel & Catering started, with an 'S' level in Directing as an extra.
When Nigel returned (thankfully!), he directed Mark as Badger in Toad of Toad Hall (1977), and Mark then switched to directing various plays and musicals - The Other Children (1977); Humbug (1979); Smike (1981); 20 Years of YT (1984); The Wiz (1985); & The Dracula Spectacula (1989) ; as well as writing musicals - The Rat Trap with John Varah (1983) and The Pied Piper (1984) - both of which he also directed! . . . not to mention various award-winning one-act plays including Ritual For Dolls; Them Boots Ain't Made For Walkin'; & In Need Of Care - and the odd melodrama! During his 11 years as Group Director or Artistic Director, Mark has many fond memories of productions and making some great friendships still alive today. He was a Vice-President of the group from 2002 to 2009
Mark also performed and directed for 10 years with The Wooburn Theatre Company and StageWorks, as well as more recently producing a number of musicals for Churches in High Wycombe.
Mark is married to Janine who is also an ex-member.
The Young Theatre was responsible for developing many of the skills Mark now uses in his career as a live events producer, film/video director and internal communications consultant, and in 2001 he set up his own company 'Creating Sunshine' drawing on the experience of running a "small business" all those years ago! Thank you, Young Theatre!