City Varieties Youth Theatre is Writing it For Themselves!


Members of City Varieties Youth Theatre have written several pieces themselves, to be performed on one night only in December at the Howard Assembly Room.

The Youth Theatre is for young people aged eight to 17-years-old, and is known for its high-quality take on classic shows which are performed every summer at City Varieties Music Hall.   However, the winter show offers the group a chance to create their own works, including writing, directing and set design.

‘sensa’ has been written by 11 – 14 year olds and 14 – 17 year olds, in response to the question ‘What matters to you?’  The 8 to 11-years-old group will be performing Darcy in Happylandi.   It is written by Olivia Mee, with some help from Abby Marshall,  and is the first time the youngest group has been given this opportunity for writing.  They will be assisted by and receive professional guidance from Artistic Director Lizi Patch.

Olivia said: “I have been a member of the City Varieties Youth Theatre for around five years and I really enjoy it because you are able to be yourself.

I was inspired to write my script by Lizi writing our original pieces; I wondered what it would be like to write one myself. In the Youth Theatre I have learned to take the opportunities and run with them.

 Writing a script is a lot of hard work but with perseverance and determination it is the best feeling hearing someone read your words. It’s amazing!”

 Co-writer Abby added: “I particularly enjoy the opportunities I get at the Youth Theatre, including writing script. I’ve enjoyed adding in stage direction, humour and learning how to make the narration rhyme. I am really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

 Since joining the group I have grown in confidence and made new friends. I like that it is relaxed and funny; we play games, sing and dance.” 

Artistic Director, Patch commented: “My long career as a youth theatre director is fuelled by the honour of helping the young artists I work with to find and develop their creative passion. I am chuffed to have been able to give the green light to Olivia to write a play for Group 1 to perform at this year’s public sharing.

Olivia has been with us for four years now and is one of those young artists who soaks everything up and works tirelessly in sessions; making the most of every opportunity. Abby, who has been with the group for three years, was also interested in writing and so Olivia left a whole scene for her to write; Abby has come so far as an actor and now writer.

This is one of the best new plays I have read for a young cast for a very long time. It has a tight plot, well-rounded characters, humour and pathos. Group 1 are delighted with their script; every single member has a meaty part and I have an excellent play to direct!”

For more information about City Varieties Youth Theatre and how to become a member contact Stephen BrennanEducation Manager, at or go to

 sensa and Darcy in Happylandia will be performed at the Howard Assembly Room on Monday 10th December at 7:30pm.

Tickets are priced at £8 and £6 (concessions).

Book online at or, or call box office on 0113 243 0808.

Feature image provided by City Varieties. 



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Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan

Helen's interests are wide-ranging, from food to music to art and comedy.   She is especially keen on writing about local charitable activity and events as well as the opportunities the City Region has to offer to those with hidden talents.

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