City Varieties Youth Theatre is now Leeds Grand Youth Theatre and will continue to build its reputation as one of the leading youth theatre groups in the UK.
The Youth theatre was founded in 2012 to introduce people between the ages of 8 and 17 to working life alongside professionals in Leeds’ iconic venues. It operates from Leeds Grand Theatre through weekly term-time workshops which include acting, dance, vocal training, physical theatre, helping young people develop life skills as well as those needed for the theatre.
Artistic Director Lizi Patch heads up the group and Rachel Lythe is Head of Learning. Rachel said: “Our focus is on nurturing, supporting, and creatively challenging every individual who walks through our doors, regardless of experience. The Youth Theatre explores the notion of theatre as a tool for social change and personal development for a new generation of theatre-makers and theatregoers. We give young people the skills, the time and the support to take creative and personal risks, enabling them to express themselves physically, verbally and through the written word.”
The group will perform Into The Woods on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 July.
Into The Woods tells the story of a baker and his wife who have been cursed by the witch next door with childlessness and set about breaking her spell – but a number of Grimm’s fairytale characters have other ideas!
There is a cast of 40, and a live orchestra with musicians from Leeds College of Music.
“I have wanted to direct this show for some years now but knew it had to be the right time for the Company – that time is now,” said Lizi. “The trust and skills that run through our Youth Theatre – from the cast to the crew, visiting artists, Learning Team and volunteers – are quite remarkable; we have a collective vision.
Into the Woods suspends the audience between tragedy and farce, and is undoubtedly an ambitious musical to get right, but we are completely ready for the challenge. Our production will be a visual and aural feast with plenty of food for thought!”
The Youth Theatre has produced many skilled young actors, including those who have gone on to perform with Opera North, train with Rambert and Pineapple Dance Studios in London, gain a scholarship at Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds, and even land a role in Game of Thrones.
One Youth Theatre member said: “Being part of LGYT has meant a lot to me as it has felt like a second family that is so loving, caring and supportive of each other. It’s so exciting during production weeks to see the shows come together; when you feel that all your hard work has paid off. Knowing that you make audiences happy is one of the best feelings.
Another added: “‘Every Saturday I get so excited to come to LGYT as I have gained so many skills and experiences that have led to me studying acting at college.”
For more information about Leeds Grand Youth Theatre contact James Whittle, Creative Engagement Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.leedsgrandtheatre.com.
INTO THE WOODS is at City Varieties Music Hall on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 July 2020
Book online at www.cityvarietiesmusichall.co.uk or call Box Office on 0113 243 0808
Photograph provided by Leeds Grand Theatre.