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This week, our in-house Playhouse Youth Theatre, Playhouse Young Company and Playhouse Adult Company groups took to the stage at the Burton Taylor Studio with three brilliant performances, showcasing the skill and commitment given by all our participants across the Summer Term.
Our Playhouse Youth Theatre group (ages 12 to 16) presented a fantastic production of Chaos by Laura Lomas. Directed by Al Miller and Beth Sedgwick, the Youth Theatre performed their most creatively diverse work to date, using the episodic structure of the play to explore different ways of storytelling in performance.
Originally written for the 2019 National Theatre Connections Festival, Chaos is described as ‘a symphony of dislocated and interconnected scenes. A series of characters searching for meaning in a complicated and unstable world.’ Our teenage participants brilliantly portrayed a whole spectrum of characters, with every member demonstrating fantastic energy and skill across the piece.
The hard work and skill demonstrated this term, will bode our Youth Theatre participants well, as they explore their next project in the Autumn Term.
The second of our young people’s double bill, our Playhouse Young Company group (ages 17 to 25) performed an original piece of theatre, Everybody Knows Everybody, devised by the Young Company across the Summer Term. The piece, directed by Paul Simpson, was creatively crafted from an original stimulus theme, ‘folklore’, shaping into a story set in Listholt, a beautiful rural village in the English countryside, shaken by the arrival of developers and the consequent trail of crime.
A narrative of murder and mystery, our Young Company developed fully realised characters, set in a fictional world with plot-twists and tension, punctuated by an original folk song written by our participants, to narrate and transition the story. Audience members were gripped to learn the fate of each character, all brilliantly performed, demonstrating the excellent talent of all our young people in the group.
The Young Company will next perform in March 2024, with their annual Main Stage production.
Our week of performances concluded with a devised piece from our Playhouse Adult Company (ages 26+), with their play Ave‘buried’ Manor & Gardens. Set in Avebury Manor, Wiltshire, participants spent the Summer Term researching and creating both historical and fictional characters, through a series of episodes relating to developing time periods at the manor house.
Our participants, often playing more than one character, were able to creatively explore a whole range of narratives – from the English Civil War, to the parties of the 1970s, to the modern-day social media influencers. Our Adult Company had fun writing and weaving the ambitious piece together, expertly guided by their director, Lara Sharman.
This production also marks the final Adult Company project to be led by Lara Sharman. Lara took over as director of the Adult Company in September 2022, but leaves us to focus on her growing work opportunities outside of the Playhouse. We’re so grateful for all the energy and passion Lara has brought to our Adult Company across this year. From the Autumn 2023 term, our Playhouse Adult Company will be led by Emma Webb, who will continue to build on the expertise and ambition of her predecessors.
A huge well done to all our participants for their commitment and passion – we could not be more proud of all your hard work!
Booking is now open for our Autumn Term sessions. If you would like any information on any of our groups, please contact: [email protected]