Click HERE for a sneaky preview of our 2019 shows!
You may need to act very quickly now to secure good seats for this year's Youth production of the wonderful Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Jesus Christ Superstar".
Packed full of energy and emotion, this multi-award-winning musical is as popular now as it was when first performed on Broadway and in the West End over 40 years ago. Originally written as a rock opera concept album, its upbeat songs and lively dance numbers recount the final days of Jesus Christ and those around him.
It features very many well loved songs, perhaps the best known being "I don't know how to love him" sung by Mary Magdalene which has won many awards. But the song "Gesthemane" sung by Jesus is the highlight of the show and leaves few feeling unmoved.
LTC Youth first performed this show in 2011 to sell-out audiences and we are very excited to be bringing it back to Burton with a new cast!
Performances are: Tuesday 23rd - Saturday 27th April at 7:30pm each evening plus Saturday matinee at 2:30pm
You can now choose your own seats when you book online - click HERE- or if you'd rather book in person, please contact:
The LTC Box Office: 01283 542446 or
Brewhouse Box Office: 01283 508100
INTO THE WOODS
Our November production of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" was possibly our most challenging production ever. It demanded excellent vocals, choreograpy, ensemble work and superb characterisation for a large number of individual actors. Caroline Kay, reviewing the show for the Burton Mail wrote:
"Little Theatre Company goes "Into The Woods" with a fabulous fairy tale cast. Burton has experienced somewhat of a Sondheim-fest of late, and this musical, performing at The Brewhouse Arts Centre, has to be some of his finest work.
Brought to life by the Little Theatre Company, and starring some of the area's finest talent, the very clever and fabulous fairy tale mash-up, intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales.
The story by James Lapine is narrated by a young girl (Emily Haywood), with the main characters taken from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella, along with several others.
The musical is tied together by a story intertwining a childless baker and his wife and their quest to have a family (the original beginning of The Grimm Brothers' Rapunzel), their interaction with a witch who has put a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey.
The ongoing theme throughout the tale is 'be careful what you wish for' and the first half of the story follows the baker (Joel Kirkpatrick) and his wife (Scarlett Marchant) and their wish to have a child, Cinderella (Olivia Robinson) who wishes to go to the King's Festival, and Jack (Roberto Storey) who wishes his cow, Milky White (Karen Hailstone), would give some milk.
When the baker and his wife are visited by the neighbourhood witch (Heather Gallagher), who reveals to them that she placed a curse on their family, the two set off on a journey into the woods to reverse the curse.
Also in the woods are Little Red Riding Hood (Charlotte Davis), who is trying to visit her grandmother (Sue McPhee), the wolf (Jim Haywood) who loves tasty little girls, the witch's daughter Rapunzel (Emmie Doyle), and the two princes (Ben Winson and Elliot Bishton) chasing after their loves.
The second half sees how the consequences of the characters' actions haunt them - some in disastrous and deadly ways.
As a community they must come together to save each other - and their kingdom. However, sacrifices must be made - but who will make them?
Again, an outstanding musical performance from Little Theatre Company, absolutely worthy of the professional stage.
I never tire of watching this company of immensely talented actors, singers and dancers and this show, as always, has been excellently cast.
Katie Haywood just revels in her role as Jack's mother, along with Sarah Spencer as Cinderella's stepmother, Vicky Fryer and Jodie Swann as the not-so ugly step sisters, Pete Banton as the steward to the royal household, Jodie Whitehead as Cinderella's mother, and Mike Mear as the Mysterious Man.
Emmie Doyle again wowed me with her crystal clear vocals, Ben Winson and Elliot Bishton were an absolute hoot as the foppish princes, and Emily Haywood as the narrator was an absolute star.
She was in almost every scene and an absolute delight to watch. I see great things for this young talent.
Again, John Bowness has been meticulous with his direction, along with Katie Hailstone (musical director) and Katie Haywood (choreographer).
From make-up and costumes to scenery and sound, the show was perfection from start to finish.
And for anyone, such as myself, who has little, or no knowledge, of Sondheim's work then "Into The Woods" is the perfect introduction to this genius' music and lyrics.
And for die-hard fans of the American songwriter you are in for a treat with this outstanding production.
It is jam packed full of a score which is terrifically clever, with songs such as Last Midnight being my earworm for the evening - and for most of this week.
"Into the Woods" is exciting, hilarious, dramatic and has one amazing score. What more could a musical theatre-lover wish for?"
"STEPPING OUT" IN STYLE
We will shortly be starting rehearsals for our June productionand we just can't wait. Our show is "Stepping Out" by Richard Harris,which enjoyed a hugely successful West End run in 2017 and won Evening Standard Best Comedy Award when it was first performed in 1984.
It is a warm and very funny play about the lives of a group of women (and one man) attending a weekly tap-dance class in a dingy North London church hall. As the play progresses, the class's dancing improves to such an extent that by the climax, a grand charity show performance, they have been transformed into triumphant tappers, worthy of any chorus line.
Tickets will be available shortly
"Stepping Out" was last produced by the LTC twenty years ago. How many of the above tappers from that production can you recognise?
To put you out of your misery, it's:
(Back row l-r) Nicola Stephens (née Bailey), Christine Frost, Mike Mear, Julie Jones, Joyce Pike
(Front row l-r) Karen Hailstone, Sue McPhee, Jane Kerr, Danushia Kaczmarek.
Maybe we'll see some of them reprise their roles in 2019!
Our November show will be "Scrooge the Musical", based on Charles Dickens’ much-loved "A Christmas Carol". It's a wonderful, feel-good story about hope and the kind of happiness that money can’t buy, and the perfect festive family treat. Tickets will be available in August.
MARGARET BRADSHAW - IN MEMORIAM
We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of this wonderful lady in January. Geoff Thompson has kindly written this tribute:
"It was with shock and deep sadness that I took a phone call from Rae Bradshaw on the afternoon of 22nd Jan to say that his wife Margaret had passed away at home earlier that day.
Margaret was a close family friend, work colleague and fellow volunteer for more years than I care to remember. Her wide range of interests and activities during her life time would fill volumes so it is with some trepidation that I attempt to briefly record here just a few of the many facets which reflect her connections and contributions to LTC.
Unlike many of the LTC elders Margaret was not a pupil of the former Burton School of Speech and Drama but of its sister institution the Burton School of Art and Crafts. However in 1984 when both those institutions closed in the aftermath of local government reorganisation, Margaret was one of the first to sign up as a supporter of the then newly independent Little Theatre Players. Some of those early productions, still staged at that time in the Little Theatre in Guild Street, benefited from Margaret's artistic skills with her help on sets, props and costumes.
There was no LTC Youth company at this time but the Drama Club that Margaret and I ran at Bend Oak school helped to provide some of the child actors when required for productions. Involvement increased greatly when activities and events were needed in fundraising for a new performance venue for the town to be called “The Brewhouse”. In addition we took children to Germany to perform at the World Festival of Children's Drama hosted by Burton`s twin town of Lingen. We participated in many performance events in collaboration with Clare Turner, Education Officer at the then Bass Museum, including a visit by the Minister for Arts. We received one of the first “Arts for All” National Lottery grants when that scheme was introduced, and in 2002 performed for the Queen and Prince Philip during their Golden jubilee visit to Burton.
Margaret was an Assistant District Commissioner for Scouting during the time her husband Rae was District Commissioner. They instigated a Scouting Awards event to be hosted at the Brewhouse and maintained responsibility for the Scouts' annual St George's Day Parade and service.
Both Fiona Waite and Liam Atton, LTC members as well as scouts, were recruited by Margaret at this time for their ability to perform the emcee duties. In November 2007 I attend the Centenary of Scouting with Margaret and Rae at the O2 arena in London. In a spectacular presentation in front of a 32,000 crowd Liam opened the show in a scene as the young Baden-Powell, while Fiona carried the flag for the Burton District. I cannot begin to tell you how proud the scouting Margaret would have been that her own LTC “Baden-Powell” attend her funeral service.
Some of the older current LTC Youth members, and many former ones, will best remember Margaret from the BADAC Bursary Scheme. Margaret spent many years as secretary of Burton And District Arts Council along with Peter Clemson and myself as fellow officers. Award winners tended to meet Margaret briefly only twice: once on arrival for their auditions, when she tried to help curb their nerves, and again at the awards presentations. The countless hidden hours of admin, year after year, that Margaret undertook in order to help make those awards possible were always done with her customary practicality, efficiency and good humour.
Perhaps LTC members and patrons would care to reflect for a moment that Margaret belonged to that group of supporters who undertake activities and share responsibilities “behind the scenes” to help keep local community arts activities functioning.
Creating opportunity and encouraging participation were essential elements in Margaret's personality. She took great pride in seeing the company perform and since its inception enjoyed with particular pleasure the youth productions. Sadly Margaret's failing health caused her to miss “Into the Woods” which, to the best of my knowledge, was the first of our productions she had not attended. Margaret had, however, already booked our tickets for "Jesus Christ Superstar" and was very much looking forward to the show.
I can think of no more fitting tribute to my dear friend than that her husband Rae will generously sponsor and attend the forthcoming Friday night performance by LTC Youth in her memory."
In this edition we're delighted to feature Scarlett Marchant, still smiling from her three LAFTA awards, including Member of the Year. Scarlett works as an apprentice Health Care Support Worker at Queen's Hospital.
When did you join the LTC and how?
I first saw a glimpse of what LTC has to offer when I was younger and watched “Blood Brothers” in 2005 and then “My Fair Lady” in 2007. I loved the way the cast of “My Fair Lady” brought the film to life and truly believed Katie was Eliza. From that day I knew I HAD to be in LTC! I was unsuccessful in my first two auditions, but third time lucky and I joined in 2009 just in time to start rehearsals for “Beauty and the Beast”.
What was your first show? Any special moments from that?
“Beauty and the Beast” was my first youth show - I was a teaspoon! I’ll always remember and be grateful for the way Jack Dent welcomed me in. The best thing about the show was in the changing room! As soon as Sam, James and Nick did the dance move in "Maison de Loon" all the girls, no matter what state of (un)dress we were in, stopped what we were doing and danced along. I have a tattoo of “Beauty and the Beast” on my ankle to remember it.
My first Adult show was “Avenue Q” in 2017 where I played Christmas Eve! I couldn’t believe the difference between the adults and the youth, and how chilled out and quiet the dressing rooms were!
I love the older musicals. I’d swap “The Greatest Showman” for a bit of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” any day! I seem to watch “The Sound of Music” every Christmas, and other favourites of mine are “Gypsy”, “Singing in the Rain”, “Calamity Jane”, “My Fair Lady” and “Meet me in Saint Louis”. It doesn’t have to be a musical though as I really love “Little Women” too!
Best production you’ve seen in the theatre?
The best production I’ve seen in England was when I saw “Evita” at the Hippodrome with Madalena Alberto as Eva Peron!
The best show I’ve seen on Broadway (excluding “The Colour Purple” which was beautiful) has to be when Ben took me to see “Miss Saigon” the week we got engaged in New York. We had front row seats and we could see the tears coming from Eva Noblezada and Rachael Ann Go!
Which part you’ve performed has been your absolute favourite? And why?
This is the hardest question by far. Playing Fantine in “Les Miserables” in 2017 was a big deal for me as I had waited so long to have the opportunity to prove myself. I have to say though, playing the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” just slightly reaches the top spot! I’ve never had so many lines to learn but I was thankful for my night shifts, when I could get my lines learned, before we set the scenes in rehearsals. I loved working with Joel and it was such a challenging and rewarding show to be a part of.
Which part in which play/film would you most like to perform?
Roles I would love to play (just to name a few) are Mama Rose in “Gypsy”, Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl”, Nancy in “Oliver!”, Velma in “Chicago”, Esmeralda in “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, any of the witches in “Witches of Eastwick”, Anya in “Anastasia” and most of all Eva Peron.
I love Robin Williams. It's so upsetting that he always seemed happy. It demonstrates that we never see the pain and hurt that is hidden behind a person’s smile.
Rachel Ann Go is my favourite Actress. I’ve seen her several times in “Miss Saigon” both in the UK and New York.
Favourite LTC moment?
I have to say the Laftas this year was pretty wonderful. The support from everyone was so lovely and to have been voted Member of the Year was such a surprise!
From the world of film and theatre, now and in the past, who are the six people you’d invite round for dinner?
Carrie Hope Fletcher
Another fun evening followed our AGM in early January for our annual tongue-in-cheek homage to the BAFTAS. It's a chance to reflect on and celebrate our productions over the last 12 months.
This year's winners were:
BEST PRODUCTION – "Into The Woods"
BEST ACTOR in a leading role – Rob Tunley ("One Man Two Guvnors")
BEST ACTRESS in a leading role – Scarlett Marchant ("Into The Woods")
BEST NEWCOMER – Charlotte Davis ("Into The Woods")
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Tim Robinson ("One Man Two Guvnors")
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Olivia Robinson ("Into The Woods")
BEST MUSICAL PERFORMANCE – Heather Gallagher ("Into The Woods")
BEST ACTOR COMEDY – Rob Tunley ("One Man Two Guvnors")
BEST ACTRESS COMEDY – Olivia Robinson ("One Man Two Guvnors")
BEST ACTOR DRAMA – Joel Kirkpatrick ("Into The Woods")
BEST ACTRESS DRAMA – Heather Gallagher ("Into The Woods")
THE ADAM BATES AWARD FOR BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE – Jim Haywood ("One Man Two Guvnors")
BEST DOUBLE ACT – Elliot Bishton and Ben Winson ("Into The Woods")
BEST ACCENT OR DIALECT – Scarlett Marchant ("South Pacific")
VILLAIN OF THE YEAR – Mark Pearson ("One Man Two Guvnors")
BEST SET – Into The Woods
TECHNICAL AWARD – Katie Hailstone ("Into The Woods")
BACKSTAGE AWARD – The Company ("Into The Woods")
FRONT OF HOUSE AWARD – Geoff Thompson for photography
LTC GOOD SPORT PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – Jodie Swann for Christine Patterson ("One Man Two Guvnors")
LTC QUIZ CHAMPION OF THE YEAR – Peter Clemson
THE MIKE MEAR AWARD – Katie Haywood
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ONSTAGE PERFORMANCE – Rob Tunley ("One Man Two Guvnors")
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING OFFSTAGE CONTRIBUTION – Katie Hailstone and Katie Haywood (LTC Youth’s “A Million Dreams Concert”)
MEMBER OF THE YEAR – Scarlett Marchant
You can catch former LTC Youth member, the lovely and extremely talented Sophie Towns, starring as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" this Easter at the New Theatre Royal, Lincoln.
JOSH ON TOUR
Josh Adams, who played Enjolras in our very first LTC Youth production of "Les Miserables" is performing in the Bill Kenwright produced national tour of the musical "Ghost" this spring. He's understudying one of the lead actors in the part of Carl, and is pictured here with Becki Lowings who is playing Mollie and Sergio Pasquariello who normally plays Carl. Unfortunately Josh doesn't know when he might appear as Carl, but you'll catch him in all other shows as Detective Biederman.
Ed will be appearing in the extremely demanding role of the Pilgrim in Vaughan Williams's "Pilgrim's Progress" at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 31st March, 3rd April and 6th April. The production is set during the First World War, with the Pilgrim a deserter who leaves his fellow soldiers behind to embark on a quest for better things. Click HERE for more information.
Congratulations to LTC Youth's Zoe Simpson who played the lead in "Legally Blonde" at Robert Sutton High School recently.
Congratulations to Juliette (nee Marchant) & husband Josh Williams on the birth of their daughter Rosalie Belle Williams on 15th January weighing 6ib 12oz. With Rosalie’s heart dropping it was very touch and go whether Juliette would have to have an emergency C section but luckily she managed to deliver naturally. Both mother and daughter are now thriving.
And congratulations to Hannah and Joel Kirkpatrick on the birth of Harvey Maximilian on February 27th weighing 8lb 11oz. Big brother Dexter and big sister Thea are thrilled with the new arrival whom they call "Batman".
Our very best wishes go to Georga Ratcliffe (pictured here as the Mistress in our LTC Youth production of "Evita") and fiancé Adam who are expecting a baby boy next July.
Many congratulations to our former LTC Youth member Ellie Holmes. She performs professionally as Ellie Anne Lowe, and is now Mrs Ellie Hunt. She was married to Jonathan late last year and we wish them every happiness.
BRITISH POLIO FELLOWSHIP
Every year at our AGM we ask members to donate to a charity in lieu of sending Christmas cards. This year's chosen charity was the British Polio Fellowship who sent us a very grateful acknowledgment of our donation of £135.