An Island youth theatre looks set to bring fun and laughter to Newport in December, thanks to a grant from Wight Aid and the generosity of Island artists Anthony James from Creaturama and Franko Figueiredo-Stow, the artistic director of StoneCrabs Theatre.
The Apollo Youth Theatre was awarded a grant to learn circus and magic skills for their forthcoming production The Devil’s Mirror.
Youth Theatre Director Mish Whitmore said:
“There is a circus scene within the play and I really wanted to give the members the opportunity to develop their skills further. Working with Jaydene Arts and Huxley Magic has been a wonderful experience and has brought greater depth and entertainment to the performance, the children have had so much fun and have surprised themselves in what they can achieve”.
The youth theatre has also received workshops in physical theatre with Franko learning techniques used by Frantic Assembly Theatre Company and the fantastical parts of the costumes have been created by Creaturama, based at Arreton Barns.
The 25 members have been working really hard on this performance and, Mish says, “after the COVID lockdowns it’s great to have some normality back for the members and our audience”. COVID seems to have had an effect on many young people that no one was expecting, they seem to have lost a lot of their confidence and become more insular. Before COVID, the youth theatre had 40 members but since the lockdown this has dwindled to just 25.
“The workshops have brought a lot of fun back into our work and I hope that when other young people see our work that they may want to get involved with the youth theatre too. I think as a youth theatre we are quite unique as our members not only learn performance techniques but they are able to help with directing, they can learn the technical parts of theatre such as sound and lighting, even costume design and marketing, all for just £5 per term”.
The Devil’s Mirror was written especially for the Apollo Youth Theatre by Karl Whitmore. He was challenged to create a script that was suitable for the whole family, lots of fun but with a twist. The play he has created has given the cast the opportunity to learn so many new skills as well as entertain the audience.
Long ago a powerful magical mirror was created on the orders of the Devil himself to bring chaos to the world. But the mirror was smashed and the plans were foiled. In this enchanting fairytale we follow the fortunes of a princess turned robber, a pair of young lovers and the unfortunate demons charged with picking up the shattered pieces. It is full of twists and turns with a sprinkling of Christmas too.
The performance is suitable for all the family and is just £5 a ticket and under 5s go free. Performances are at 19:00 on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th December, and 14:00 matinee performances on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th December. Tickets are available from https://www.apollo-theatre.org.uk/.
Report by Mish Whitmore/Maureen Sullivan
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