Derby Theatre pays tribute to youth theatre member Lewis

Published: 24 September 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Lewis Sewell in The Blue Road

Derby Theatre is to pay tribute to former youth theatre member Lewis Sewell, who died aged 18 in summer 2020 from a rare cancer, by sharing a recording of a production in which he appeared.

The showing of The Blue Road is part of a day arranged by his family to celebrate his life and will mark a year since Lewis first went into hospital.

His family were determined to gather as many tributes from actors and creatives within the theatre and arts world to share with him as they could. He received messages of support from people including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Morpurgo, Adil Ray and Peter Housten Reid, Manaia Glasey Olsen, Sharon Rose and Alyson Ava Brown from the musical Hamilton. The tributes were shown at Lewis’s funeral on Friday 4 September.

Caroline Barth, Derby Theatre’s creative learning director, said, “Lewis was as an extremely dedicated, mature and talented actor—with an extraordinary level of depth and stage presence for someone of his age. He was with us for six years and his commitment to the work, the group and all his friends was outstanding.

“We’re sharing the film of The Blue Road with a public audience as this was a special production that Lewis loved. It was written by Derby-born playwright Laura Lomas with and for our group, along with three other youth theatres across the UK. We’ll also be dedicating and naming a seat at the theatre in memory of Lewis.”

The Blue Road will be shown on Friday 25 September at 5PM. It can be accessed at Derby Theatre’s Facebook page.