5th June, 2005
YMT: Looking Forward to a Great Year
Following its successful tour of auditions which covered fourteen cities
across the UK and more than tripled the attendance rate, Youth Music
Theatre: UK has over 250 promising young people joining the company
this year. These talented youngsters will take part in eight musical
theatre projects across the UK throughout the summer.
The extensive programme for 2005 includes a mixture of fairytale and
politics, reality TV paranoia and circus space antics. The company will
debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with its new musical
production, Goblin Market. Two more pieces will be presented
at the Festival as works-in-progress: Missing Melanie, an experimental
piece of musical theatre with strong rock, pop and jazz tunes, and Please
Look at Me Now, a musical based on the reality TV show Big Brother.
Other projects include an adaptation of the Count of Monte Cristo,
to be shown in August at the Birmingham Hippodrome, and the premiere
of a piece exploring the era of Joe McCarthy and the music of Miles
Davis to be presented at Chethams School of Music in Manchester.
Goblin Market (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
Writer/Director Kath Burlinson; Composer Conor Mitchell; Designer
Gary McCann; Lighting James McFetridge; Costumes Heather Long
Performances: 5 28 August 2005 @ 5.15pm, George Square Theatre,
Christina Rossettis poem Goblin Market has fascinated
critics and enchanted readers of all ages for more than a hundred
years. In an ambitious score for a 13-piece orchestra, director Kath
Burlinson and composer Conor Mitchell have re-created Rossettis
haunting world inhabited by horrid goblin creatures who tempt the
unwary to buy their enticing but deadly fruit. The piece is a 75 minute
chamber opera charting the story of two sisters, Lizzie and Laura.
When Laura falls to the come buy cry of the goblin-merchants,
Lizzie must make a radical choice if she is to save her sister. The
work had a critically acclaimed run at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast
in 2003. Scheduled to play London, the production has already raised
interest from promoters in Beijing and Seoul.
Missing Melanie (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
Writer/Director Kath Burlinson; composer Conor Mitchell
Performances: 27 28 August 2005 @ 10.30am, George Square Theatre,
Missing Melanie is a piece of musical theatre with a strong
rock/pop score which follows the disappearance of 18-year-old Melanie.
Set over a period of three days, the musical charts the effect of
Melanies disappearance on her school community and explores
how the relationships between various friends, siblings and peer groups
Please Look at Me Now (Edinburgh)
Director Peta Lily; Composer Jimmy Jewell; Choreographer Andy Howitt;
Video Artist Karola Gajda
Performances: 17 August @ 7.30pm, 18 August @ 2pm and 7.30pm , Loretto
School, Edinburgh (The piece will be shown as a work-in-progress at
the Edinburgh Festival)
A junk opera that looks with warmth and humour at the
loneliness of spectator culture, the seductive power of reality TV
and the new celebrity. This is Big Brother The Musical!
The Open Door (Belfast)
Director Gerry Flanagan; Composer tba; Choreographer tba
Performances: 18 19 August, Methodist College, Belfast
A door opens. A voice is heard. A song is sung. One story unfolds,
Each will be an invitation that will lead into
adventure, love, terror or wonder. The Open Door is a devised
project using improvisation, games, choral and rhythm work to release
creative expression, play and spontaneity.
Director Nick Stimson, Composer Chris Williams, Choreographer Vik
Performances: 21 22 August 2005, Plymouth College, Plymouth
1918 - the First World War is drawing to an end. A young French soldier
is found wandering on a railway station. He has no memory of who he
is or how he got there. This lost soul becomes the focus of a bewildered
and shocked nation desperate to find the image of their missing loved
ones in his silent eyes. A powerful drama of loss and longing, the
blind journey of love despite impossible odds
from silence to
Red Hunter (Manchester)
Director Vernon Mound; Composer Tim Sutton; Choreographer Clare Russ;
Writer Jane Bodie; Designer Chris de Wilde
Performances: 16 17 August 2005, Chethams School of Music,
Exploring the world of Joe McCarthy, the beat generation and music
of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The story weaves around a lone white
dancer attracted to a black trumpet player, the relationship between
a staff member of the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
and a demobbed GI, blackmail and a drugs raid.
Monte Cristo (Warwick/Birmingham)
Director Stephen Jameson; Composer Leon Parris; Writer Jon Smith
Performances: 26 27 August 2005, Patrick Centre Birmingham
Based on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, Jon Smith and Leon
Parris have succeeded in adapting the 875-page epic into a fast-paced-roller-coaster-ride
full of excitement, revenge and intrigue. Incredibly compressed into
a two-hour show, this production brings 19th Century France to life
through the trials and tribulations of Edmond Dantes, a sailor wrongfully
accused of a crime he didn't commit.
The Stones are Hatching (Norwich)
Director Ellie Jones; Writer Jenifer Toksvig; Composer Alexander Rudd;
based on the novel by Geraldine MacCreaghan
Performances: 19 20 August 2005, Hethersett Old School, Norwich
"Phelim was the only one, they said, the only one who could save
the world from the Hatchlings of the Stoor Worm. The Stoor Worm, who
had been asleep for aeons, was beginning to waken. The dreadful sounds
of war had roused it, and now its Hatchlings were abroad, terrorizing
the people who had forgotten all about them, forgotten all the ancient
magics. As Phelim leaves his home and sets out on his quest, the words
ring in his ears: You are the one. To stop the Worm waking.
To do what must be done." This energetic version of the
extraordinary book is a fascinating mix of puppetry and conventional
musical theatre with a company predominantly under the age of 16.
Youth Music Theatre: UK (YMT: UK) is a registered charity established
in October 2003 by a group of experienced directors, administrators,
pastoral staff, young people and parents determined to create a dynamic
and participatory company which could bring together young people from
around the UK in musical theatre projects.
Committed to producing youth music theatre to the highest standards
and to pushing the boundaries of this popular genre, the charity purely
concentrates on original and innovative work. The recently enlisted
young members will not be performing the next adaptation of Oliver
or Annie, but will embark on a creative journey that will take
them through the whole process of creating a new musical piece. The
ethos is indeed one of engaging the young participants in the devising
process from the beginning, giving them a strong sense of ownership
of the piece.
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