Thu, 05 Sept 2019
NEWBURY Youth Theatre returned triumphant from their 23rd consecutive Edinburgh Fringe, with another four-star review and a high recommendation for their show The Wizard of Winterbourne. This continues a decades-long run of high praise among the festival and national press, which has seen them pick up awards and be named Critic’s Choice in The Independent. Several publications (including Three Weeks and 730 Review) have marked them out as one of the best youth theatres in the country.
This September, NYT are starting an exciting new chapter in their long, rich career as they have recently announced that they are moving to Arlington Arts. “Both Amy and I are based at Mary Hare anyway,” explained co-director Tony Trigwell-Jones. “So we will have a greater potential for flexibility with regards to access to the theatre, performances and workshops.”
“We are also excited to be able to expand our offer,” Amy continued, “as we are often asked by parents if we have
capacity for under-14s. In this move there is greater availability of space, so this will become possible.”
Newbury Youth Theatre historically ran three youth groups, providing for young people aged seven to 21. This recent announcement includes the creation of a group for 10- to 13-year-olds to sit alongside the already-successful 14 to 21 company.
These young performers will be directed by Rosanna Hudd-Smith, who came to NYT through Amy and Tony Trigwell-Jones. “I studied musical theatre at Arden in Manchester and moved to the area recently,” Rosanna explained. “I was looking for opportunities to get involved with something creative and Amy suggested I consider coming on board to re-establish a younger group for Newbury Youth Theatre. I’m really looking forward to making a start this September.”
It is not thought that the under-14s will tour to the Edinburgh Fringe, however they will have the opportunity to perform at Arlington Arts. The venue’s general manager Emily McAuley has been instrumental in bringing NYT over to Arlington Arts as part of her new strategy for developing the venue since she took over management in July. “We are looking forward to welcoming NYT to Arlington Arts as our resident theatre company. There are going to be many exciting community projects to come and we can’t wait for them to get started. Look out for NYT’s first show here in July 2020,” she said.
Founding director Robin Strapp, who has been involved with Newbury Youth Theatre from when it started more than 35 years ago, fully supports the move. He said: “Although we have been at the Corn Exchange for many years, we have also been based at The Arts Workshop and the Waterside Centre and have enjoyed excellent relationships over the years with the directors at the Market Place venue since Michael Bewick brought us on as a resident company in the late-90s.”
Newbury Youth Theatre will continue to meet on Wednesday evenings, with the young performers (aged 10 to 14) running 6pm to 7.30pm and the senior group continuing from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
For more information, visit www.newburyyouththeatre.co.uk