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November 2018
This multi-award-winning musical by the peerless Stephen Sondheim brings together lots of well-known fairy tale characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (with his Beanstalk) and Rapunzel, and features timeless songs such as 'Children Will Listen' and 'No-one Is Alone'. However, ‘Happily Ever After’ turns out to be far from the end of the story. Such is the appeal of this musical that it was turned into a successful Disney feature film, a few years ago, with top Hollwood stars including Meryl Streep, James Corden and Johnny Depp.

This production is a great platform for us to show you just how much talent we have within the group, and we are confident that you will love the show. There are outstanding vocal performances, narrative highs and lows, and some delightful comic moments, especially from our two fairytale princes.


Thanks go to Katie Hailstone for the video and to Geoff Thompson for the rehearsal photos. The good news is that a few tickets are still available.

The show will be performed on:

Tuesday 27th - Saturday 1st December 2018

7:30 each evening plus Saturday matinee at 2:30pm

Tickets: £12 adults / £11 concessions

(Concessions available Tuesday to Thursday only - Matinee tickets all £11)


There's normally only one opportunity each year to watch LTC Youth perform - that's their annual musical each Easter week - but those of us lucky to get a ticket were well and truly wow-ed by their two-night-only concert in September.

Current Youth members were joined by "alumni" Katie Ireland, Ollie Last and Jack Hawkins, in a concert with musical direction by Katie Hailstone and choreography by Katie Hayward. The show opened with a dazzling version of 'Hello' from "The Book of Mormon" and the following 20 songs/medleys, many from shows LTC Youth have performed, ranged from romantic classics from "Carousel" and "Beauty and the Beast" to rousing company numbers from "Matilda" and "The Greatest Showman".  Each and every number was immensely enjoyable, but if pressed to choose a favourite, I'd go for 'Bui Doi' from "Miss Saigon", performed by Ollie and company. Spine-tingling.

There was even an interval treat, for those of us who have watched our young members grow up over the years, in the form of a slideshow, produced by Peter and Matt. See how many you can recognise in the pictures below, and page down to see what some of them are up to these days!


We're thrilled to announce that the next LTC Youth production will be "Jesus Christ Superstar" by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber.

A global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, "Jesus Christ Superstar" is a timeless work set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally-known series of events but seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

It will be performed from Tuesday 23rd to Saturday 27th April 2019 at the Burton Brewhouse. (Watch this space for tickets as they are sure to sell out fast.)

Over the years there have been quite a few Mother & Daughter combinations in the LTC: Vicky & Beth Fryer, Katie & Emily Haywood, Emma & Sarah Levien, Elaine & Caitlin Pritchard  and Bethan & Fiona Waite. But few LTC members have made such a joint impact as Karen and Katie Hailstone. As Musical Director, Katie has been a stalwart of an incredible number of LTC shows, while Karen has worked on many LTC productions both onstage - recently as Mother Dearest in "Betty" - and backstage as ASM. We thought it might be interesting to hear their views and see whether they agreed in their choices!

How did you come to join the LTC?
I joined LTC back in 1997, having seen some of their productions and already been involved with (quite by accident initially) a couple of small local drama groups. The first production l was involved with was "When We Are Married", helping Rosemary backstage and smashing china plates. 
Best production you’ve seen in the theatre?
The best production in theatre l've seen is the most recent one, "The Comedy About a Bank Robbery" done by Mischief Theatre at Birmingham Rep. This farce ticked all the boxes for me: their performance, timing  and energy were incredible. And that scene where you are wondering 'are you really seeing them performing from that part of the stage?" was highly original. 
Favourite film?
Err, that's difficult, it was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", but to date the film l went to see time and again was "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves". Sad, but true. 
Favourite actor?
Tom Hanks, l like the characters he plays and the way he makes them believable. (Tissues at the ready watching "The Green Mile" and "Road to Perdition") 
Favourite actress?
Meryl Streep, for the same reason. ("Sophie's Choice", and dare l add "The Bridges of Madison County"?) 
What/who do you like to watch on TV?
It's got to be "Bake Off"! Followed closely by Noel Fitzpatrick aka "Supervet". 
From the world of film and theatre, now and in the past, who would you invite round for dinner?
I'd invite Harry Potter and the Hogwarts wizards - all that grub with the flick of a wand! 
Which LTC show that you’ve been involved with has been your absolute favourite and why?
It has to be "Betty Blue Eyes" -  loved the show, loved playing Mother Dear, loved 'Pig No Pig' - but only after we'd done it. 
Favorite LTC moment?
Standing in the wings with Jackie on the last  night of "Joseph", watching Sam Pearson go on and do a stand-in performance of Pharaoh, (as Tom Kounnas had dislocated his shoulder and had to go to A&E) which he did brilliantly. 


How did you come to join the LTC?
At one of the rehearsals for "Adrian Mole", Mum rang to ask if I would come down to help them learn some harmonies for their songs. Being a keen musician I was happy to help, so came down to the remainder of the rehearsals to help compose and teach them. I’d obviously done a good job because the director (John Bowness) asked if I would officially become LTC’s Musical Director. Of course, I was delighted to have been asked and accepted immediately!

My first musical with LTC as official MD was "My Fair Lady", and with LTC Youth it was "Summer Holiday". Again, I must’ve done something right as John felt confident enough to choose "Les Misérables" as their next show, which is no mean feat!

I’m now done a total of 22 musicals (and counting) with LTC, and always enjoy working on each one.

How do you manage to juggle rehearsals with your busy IT career and cake-making business?

Good question! I sometimes wonder that myself! Being MD is like having a second job – a lot of planning and preparation takes place months ahead of rehearsals and the work continues through the rehearsal period. I lose track of the number of evenings and weekends I’ve spent editing tracks, studying scores (I learn all the vocal parts and chorus harmonies myself before I teach them), recording vocal lines and organising rehearsal schedules, but it is all completely worth it.

Baking cakes also takes planning and preparation, but I love doing it and always get such lovely feedback from customers so I am encouraged to find time!

Best production you’ve seen in the theatre?
The first musical I saw was "The Phantom of the Opera" in London and it immediately became my favourite. I was invited by my best friend for her 16th birthday and found it such a fascinating show with its powerful music and clever staging.

Favourite film?
"Amadeus". I’m a massive Mozart fan and although it’s a fictional biography, this film is fun to watch and includes a lot of his music.

Favourite actor?
Johnny Depp

Favourite actress?
Helen Mirren

What/who do you like to watch on TV?
All sorts of programmes, but to name a few - "The Great British Bake Off", "The Apprentice", "Who Do You Think You Are/" and anything to do with Tudor history.

From the world of film and theatre, now and in the past, who would you invite round for dinner?
Sir Henry Irving, the celebrated stage actor of the Victorian era who was the first actor to be awarded a knighthood. I’d be particularly interested to meet him because I’ve discovered through my family history research that we’re related!

Which LTC show that you’ve been involved with has been your absolute favourite and why?
"The Phantom of the Opera", for reasons mentioned above!

Favourite LTC moment?
Conducting the live band on stage for "Betty Blue Eyes" was a highlight for me. It’s an amazing experience to be immersed in live music and the band and cast had such a fun time together.


LTC members are involved in events guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit next month.

Heather Gallagher's StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates will be making their first public performance at "Festivities with Friends" at the Brewhouse at 7.30 on December 13th. They will be performing four routines including solos, duets and group numbers. Click HERE for tickets.

Meanwhile our favourite young crooner Wil Pearson (see article below) will be singing Christmas classics from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, also at the Brewhouse, on December 14th. Tickets available by clicking HERE. If you can't make the 14th, he'll be performing the concert on December 12th at the National Brewery Centre.

We're very proud - and exceptionally envious - of Wil Pearson who is just back from his latest Americal tour with the Screaming Kicks Big Band. He's pictured here doing a street performance in New Orleans, but the tour took them to:

Boston, where they did a workshop with Grammy Award jazz singer Cindy Scott;

New Orleans where they undertook several street performances and two Big Band gigs, one at the National Jazz History Museum. Wil got to sing "Pennies From Heaven" with a local band at the Musical Legends Park;

San Francisco, giving a street performance at Pier 39 and a Big Band gig at The Community Music Centre. Wil was treated to a VIP tour of the Dolby headquarters and listened to his song “Blue Christmas” which was professionally mixed and mastered to Dolby Atmos Surround Sound.

We are justifiably proud of former LTC Youth members who have gone on to act, sing and dance professionally, and we regularly report on their progress. However, the skills learned from being part of the LTC family contribute to success in all areas of life, and we thought you might be interested to hear what some of our other former members are up to.

Adam Bates has moved on from a career in TV/radio sports journalism, and now runs his own non-profit organisation in Brighton called 'Ambigo', which helps make people's goals and ideas happen. Its purpose is to help people come closer to personal fulfillment, and to strengthen community cohesion. And, a decade on since his last LTC show (Adrian Mole), he still has nightmares about walking on the Brewhouse stage and forgetting his lines!

Jack Dent is now living in Wellington, Shropshire with his wife Sarah. Jack's career in magic continues apace. Over 80% of his events are now weddings, allowing couples to get “Married with Magic”, and he is performing all over the UK and abroad.

Jack's twin brother
Tom Dent is working as an assistant manager at a brand new venue in Loughborough called “Archery Legends” which provides unique archery experiences for beginners and advanced professionals. He’s absolutely loving it.

London based Scarlett Dixon has spent the last three years as a buyer for ASOS, the online fashion retailer. Now she's joining digital marketing company Awin as an Account Manager. She's pictured here as a dying Eponine in our very first LTC Youth "Les Miserables".
Beth Fryer has been working as a primary school teacher in Reading for the last few years, but she's now travelling around South America with her boyfriend and they plan to settle in the Lancaster area in the New Year.
Nick Payne is a primary school teacher in Gloucestershire but is keeping his hand in theatrically having musically directed his third Edinburgh Fringe show this year for the University of Gloucestershire and set up his own theatre company - The Tea and Gingernut Corporation. He also plays in a rock ukelele group.

Congratulations to Dominic White who turns 21 in December. Dom is studying Musical Theatre at De Montfort University in Leicester.

Fiona Waite is currently working in the Morrisons HQ Logistics Planning Team, having joined them as a graduate trainee after her MBA in 2017. She is also a qualified Hot Air Balloon Pilot!

Tom Prichard - or LT as we affectionately know him - has recently started a degree course in Politics & International Relations at the University of Kent. It focuses on analysing politics and its theories as well as how we can resolve international conflict and the economics of a globalised world.
Remember Emma?

Emma's last LTC show was "The Sound of Music" in 2012 and she's pictured here, left, alongside Jane German and Elaine Pritchard. Since then she's been busy raising her two sons and doing not only an Honours Degree in Surface Pattern Design but a Masters in Ceramic Design which she has almost finished. She has recently set up her own website which you can find HERE

She says she misses the company greatly and hopes to return when life has settled down a bit!
Ken Smalley

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Kenneth James 'Ken' Smalley on 23rd September 2018, aged 88. Ken and his wife, Norma, were long-standing patrons of LTC.

He met Norma, the love of his life, when she was 16 and they were married in 1953 when they were both 22. They had one child, Elaine, (LTC’s former Company Secretary and LTC Fellow).

After working for the National Coal Board, Ken decided to retrain as a teacher at Wolverhampton and in 1962 he was appointed as a lecturer at Burton Technical College and worked there until he retired in the early 1990s.

Elaine and husband Bill Pritchard gave him two grandchildren - Caitlin and Tom. Caitlin married Alex and great-grandson Zach was born in 2017.

Apart from Norma and his family his big loves were horse racing, Laurel and Hardy and the music hall.

Our sincere sympathies go to Norma, Elaine and the rest of the family.

Congratulations to Roberto Storey, pictured left, who gained a Grade 8 Trinity College in Musical Theatre in August when he attended a 3 week course in London with Youth Musical Theatre. He took part in "Barrack Room Ballads" which told a musical theatre story about Rudyard Kipling's war poems. He'd like to thank the BADAC Little Theatre Bursary award which helped enable him to attend the course. You can catch Roberto in "Into the Woods" in which he's playing Jack.
Katie Ireland, probably best remembered for her stunning performance as Evita in LTC's Youth production, is treading the boards again, this time at Sheffield University, where she's studying Biomedical Sciences. She's playing the part of Lisa Hopkins who is the wife of the managing director of the company.
For more information, click HERE
If something more classical is to your taste, head up to Manchester next spring to see Ed Robinson perform the title role in Vaughan Williams' Opera "The Pilgrim's Progress" at the Royal Northern College of Music. He will appear on 31st March, and 3rd and 6th April. 

The work is rarely performed largely due logistical issues as the large cast includes 37 solo roles. It's been described as "a colossal undertaking. It is a spiritual and radiant experience that you’ll never forget‘. The College's theatre is lovely, with - of course - great accoustics, and its productions are briliantly staged with superb scenery and costumes. Tickets sell out quickly so get yours while you can: click HERE.
If panto is more your thing, then you need to travel up to the Sunderland Empire this Christmas where Josh Andrews is continuing his professional career flying high as Peter Pan.

Hopefully his smiley face, appearing on the front cover of the local magazine, will help ensure full houses. Break a leg Josh!
Fancy a Quiz?

Heather Gallagher's StageScreen is holding a Charity Quiz at 7pm on Saturday November 24th at Shobnall School. Entry is £30 for a team of six and includes chip cobs, so what's not to like? They are raising much needed funds for their West End Performance in December. Teams can be booked on the Facebook event page - click HERE.
Congratulations to the new Mrs Juliette Williams (née
Marchant) on her recent marriage to Josh. Both massive Disney fans, they naturally spent their honeymoon in Disneyland.
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Little Theatre Company · 377 Rosliston Road · Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire DE15 9RJ · United Kingdom

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