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News about our members and patrons and our 2015 productions
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Coming up in 2015

Ticket forms going out to patrons before Christmas

We've had a great 2014 - a year that marked our 30th anniversary as an independent theatre group - rounded off with packed houses and lots of laughs when we performed Victoria Wood's musical version of the soap opera spoof Acorn Antiques.
Acorn Antiques - The Musical at Burton's Brewhouse

Now we're looking ahead to 2015, a year when we reach another milestone - our 100th production. This will be the Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing in June.

Before that we have the stage version of the classic Ealing comedy film The Ladykillers, This has been adapted by Graham Linehan and tells the story of a sweet little old lady pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who rent rooms in her house, posing as amateur musicians. This will run from 10-14 March.

At Easter, our annual youth production is the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical, Evita. Featuring iconic songs including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Oh What a Circus and Another Suitcase in Another Hall, it tells the story of Eva Peron, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. This will be staged from 7-11 April.

Ticket forms for both productions will go out to our patrons before Christmas - and shortly afterwards online booking will be open.

Come and share our memories

30 years of LTC - plus the story of the original Little Theatre

If you are relatively new to the Burton performing arts scene you might not have heard of the Burton School of Speech and Drama - but that will all change if you come and see the exhibition we're hosting in conjunction with The Brewhouse Arts Centre from 7-24 January.

We were delighted to be offered this chance to showcase some treasured photos and stories that explain how the Little Theatre Company came into existence back in 1984. 

The 'Little Theatre', which gave us our name, was the venue within the Burton School of Speech and Drama that used to be situated on Guild Street. It once held a unique position in the UK as the only establishment funded by a local authority and offering training to people from across the country.

There will be lots of pictures and stories from the Guild Street days as well as photos from the last 30 years of Little Theatre Company. This event also celebrates the approach of our 100th production in June.

You'll be able to visit the exhibition any time from 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday between 7-24 January - but you may want to join us at the preview evening on 8 January from 7-9pm and see who you recognise. 

Publicity for our anniversary exhibition

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News from former members

Book of Mormon and Saturday Night Fever roles for Josh and Ellie

Our January exhibition will tell you about some names from the past who went on to work in showbusiness professionally - but today we're proud to share news of those who have recently appeared with us and are now enjoying professional success.

In our last newsletter we told you about Ellie Ann Lowe securing two professional jobs straight after graduating from the Guildford School of Acting. She appeared in Love Story at the Union Theatre in London and went on to join the UK tour of Saturday Night Fever - where she's having a great time.

Josh Andrews,  who appeared alongside Ellie in LTC Youth's 2009 production of Les Miserables School Edition, has just completed a run with Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake International Tour. He was drafted in for a few weeks to cover an injured cast member and had the opportunity to visit Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney and Milan with the production.

In February he joins the cast of the hit comedy The Book of Mormon in London's West End. He is joining as Swing – which means he is not on at every performance. He will be covering a number of performers, typically four or five, during a 13 month contract. Josh's mum has promised to let us know when Josh has definite dates covering for other performer's holidays.

Sophie Towns, another former LTC Youth performer, who also played the lead in 2012's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, recently appeared in Alfie the Musical alongside other London College of Music BA Musical Theatre third-year students at the University of West London, Ealing. She played Lily in the musical version of one of the landmark films of the Swinging Sixties. Her performance of the song Easy was described by audience members (who included LTC members Heather Gallagher and Vanessa Birch) as a tear-jerking highlight of the show - and also earned her a great review in MusicalTheatreReview.com 

Our final update on former members comes courtesy of Bethan Waite - currently rehearsing The Ladykillers in which she plays Mrs Louisa Wilberforce.

She combined a long-planned weekend in Manchester with a trip to see Ed Robinson in The Merry Widow at the Royal Northern College of Music Theatre. Bethan said: "It is an institute close to my heart. My mother  qualified as an LRCM just after WW2 at the Northern College of Music which eventually merged with the Royal Manchester to form the RNCM. A wonderful quintet from the RNCM played at my wedding reception.

"It was a stunning production. Every single member of the cast was brilliant. Add to the vocal excellence an amazing Christmassy set, costumes to die for and magnificent choreography and you have a really fabulous theatrical experience. Ed has been cast as one of the principals in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience to be performed next February. I can’t wait to see it.”

Heather & Katie wow Kerry Ellis

Kerry Ellis workshop LTC members

Two of our current members (Heather Gallagher and Katie Ireland - pictured above) had the golden opportunity to attend a workshop with West End star Kerry Ellis.

Kerry made her West End debut in the 2001 revival of My Fair Lady as Martine McCutcheon's understudy in the role of Eliza Doolittle. She was in the original London cast of the Queen musical We Will Rock You and went on to play lead roles in Les Misérables (as Fantine), Wicked (as Elphaba - a role she reprised on Broadway) and Oliver!  (as Nancy).

Along with others at the event, organised by Dance Network, they had the chance to sing for Kerry and both received fantastic feedback. Heather's performance of Wait A Bit, from the Stiles & Drewe musical Just So, reduced the West End star to tears (in a good way). Meanwhile Katie, who will be playing the title role in LTC Youth's production of Evita at Easter, was praised for her singing style when she sang Ireland from Legally Blonde.

Heather who has appeared in many LTC shows - most recently as Miss Berta in Acorn Antiques The Musical! - began working as a part-time singing teacher this year specialising in musical theatre. Alongside a full-time job in finance and studying for a degree with the Open University, Heather SOMEHOW also finds time to run a Tappercise (tap dance for exercise) class every Saturday morning at Dethick Hall, in Hartshorne, at 10am. She is hoping to start a weekday evening Tappercise class in Burton in 2015. 

Thanks to Corporate Patrons Justine and Peter Bourne, of Peter Bourne Communications, who have renewed their support for a further year.

If you know any businesses who might be interested in supporting us as corporate patrons - and obtaining promotion online and in our four show programmes a year in return for a donation of ONLY £25 per year - please ask them to contact us. 

Peter is currently rehearsing for the Burton Amateur Stage Entertainers (BASE)  annual February half term pantomime, which this year is Sinbad and His 8th Voyage. The show will run from Tuesday to Saturday, 17-21 February, at The Brewhouse Arts Centre.

During the same week, you can also see Burton Operatic Society present Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard - the UK amateur mainland premiere of this musical. They perform at the Harehedge Lane campus of the de Ferrers Academy.

Before both those shows, it is the turn of Mellow Dramatics who bring the colourful Barry Manilow Musical Copacabana to The Brewhouse Arts Centre from 13-17 January.

Show in Burton Jan and Feb

 

FREE arts directory published

Burton and District Arts Council

The 2015/16 edition of the Burton and District Arts Council (BADAC) Directory is now available from the Brewhouse box office and local libraries. Copies are also available to download from the BADAC website. www.badac.org.uk

This free publication contains contact details for community arts organisations, including those affiliated to BADAC.

BADAC chairman Geoff Thompson said: "We are very proud of the range of arts activities in Burton and district. Whether as spectator or participant, I hope this new edition of the directory will encourage everyone to take full advantage of the many opportunities available in our community to enjoy the arts.”
 
As well as listing groups and societies that form part of BADAC membership the directory, produced jointly with ESBC Arts, also contains details of support services including the Brewhouse, arts development, advertising and promotional websites.

There are details of venues, such as libraries, that are available for groups to put on shows or places to meet within the area covered by the organisation. The booklet also contains the details of BADAC members who give tuition in dance, speech and drama, the visual arts and music.

Geoff added: "Thanks go to Margaret Bradshaw, Peter Clemson and Bill Pritchard (BADAC), Dave Topliss (Ghost Ltd) , Helen Hardwick and Nathan Gallagher (ESBC staff) …..and a very special thanks to Ken Brown (LTC) for all the effort and commitment supporting the BADAC Chair in bringing this project to fruition."

BADAC is a registered charity 501147 and run entirely by volunteers.



Our next newsletter will be out in February 2015. Meanwhile, please stay in touch with us by using any of the links below.

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