A generous legacy from a well-known theatre-lover is being used to give a group of budding young actors their chance to perform at the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe next summer.
Brian Tennant who died last September, aged 72, attended around 100 theatrical shows a year and was a great supporter of The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond. In his will, he left the Theatre a significant bequest, some of which is being used to fund a Youth Theatre production at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre will be performing a piece entitled ‘This is Yorkshire’ between 21 and 24 August. The play is based on the 2007 film, ‘This is England’, set in 1983, which chronicles the adventures of a boy who becomes embroiled in a skinhead gang.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our Youth Theatre members this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tread the boards at the world’s largest art festival,” said Aimee Shields, Youth Theatre Officer at The Georgian Theatre Royal. “Brian was passionate about theatre and the arts and we are sure that he would be delighted that his money is being used to engender a love of the stage amongst young people and maybe even kick-start a few acting careers along the way.”
Auditions for the play will take place later this month and competition for the ten roles is expected to be high. There will also be opportunities for Youth Theatre members to take on responsibilities for marketing, logistics and research, as well as help with costumes and set.
Clare Allen, The Georgian Theatre Royal’s Chief Executive, said: “All the young people are incredibly excited about the prospect of going to Edinburgh and there is a real buzz in the lead up to the auditions. The fact that the trip is being fully funded enables everyone to have the opportunity to put themselves forward, which we feel is very important.
“It is an excellent opportunity to be starring alongside some of the world’s finest creators and performers from the diverse worlds of theatre, music and dance and I am sure it will inspire and enthuse all those who take part,” she added.
The Youth Theatre will travel and stay together in Edinburgh to give the students the experience of being in a real touring company. In addition, they will receive a special pass to enjoy free entry to some of the Festival’s 3,000 plus productions.
‘This is Yorkshire’ will also be The Georgian Theatre Royal’s entry in next April’s One Act Play Festival, organised by the All-England Theatre Festival – the only countrywide elimination contest for one-act plays in performance throughout England.
The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre currently runs classes for three age bands: Juniors (6-10 years); Middles (10-13 years); and Seniors (13-18 years). They take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and Saturdays during school term time.
There is also a popular Musical Theatre session on Wednesday evenings. Enrolment is open to everyone and no previous experience is necessary. However, some of the classes are over-subscribed and operate a waiting list.
Anyone interested in joining the Youth Theatre should call 01748 823710 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Details and an application form can also be found on the Theatre’s website: www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk
PHOTO: We’re off to Edinburgh! - Aimee Shields is pictured with members of The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre who will be able to audition for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.