Lights, camera and youth in action!

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

There’s no holiday boredom for the children in Trinity Theatre’s summer shows, as Trinity’s Youth & Learning Officer Jess Horsley explains to the Times

TRINITY THEATRE has been running musical summer shows for children and young people since 2013. The projects have grown from one production to five different projects for all ages and interests, and are a fantastic way for them to build confidence, make new friends and gain acting experience.

The summer shows started in 2010 with Robin Hood for 8-15 year olds and split into a junior and senior show in 2014. The addition of a technical summer school meant that those who wanted to get involved behind the scenes could learn to build sets, make props and learn about lighting and sound.

Pinocchio saw 40 children taking part, and by 2016 both Peter Pan and Bugsy Malone sold out, with 91 children involved, including behind the scenes.

In 2017, due to high demand, the junior summer show was split into two casts for Matilda, to allow more children to take part. The technical summer school also evolved.

For a lot of children the junior summer show is their first experience in performing. The show is a brilliant opportunity to rehearse dancing, acting and singing with choreographers, directors and musical directors, building up to performances on a professional, working stage.

Trinity’s Youth & Learning Manager, Jason Lower, agrees: ‘It has been fantastic to see children who have never performed before progress throughout the week of rehearsals, learn new skills and have their moment on stage. It’s something they will never forget.’

There is a community feel during the rehearsals and performance days, and strong friendships are made.

Trinity Youth Theatre is passionate about encouraging young people to achieve their full creative potential.

This year the show production teams have almost entirely consisted of people under 21, including costume and set designers, a technical team, stage managers, directors and rehearsal assistants.

And the technical summer school is now the backstage youth theatre. Members have been designing and making sets, learning how to rig lights, cue sound and stage manage the shows.

Earlier this month, the junior summer show was Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr, and for the first time, there has been an infants summer show, featuring the songs and dances of The Little Mermaid. This gentler version gave even the tiniest fans of musicals their first glimpse into performing. And this weekend saw the senior Les Miserables (School Edition).

Still to come, on Monday [August 13] is a film workshop with local filmmaker Samuel Marlow entitled Wanderers, set in a post apocalyptic world.

Teenagers aged between 13 and 19 will learn tips, tricks and techniques of production, and spend the week filming and acting in an original film about survival and loyalty. Once completed the film will be screened at Trinity Theatre.

A total of 142 children and young people will have been at Trinity Youth Theatre this summer, so if you have any budding actors or directors make sure they go along next year


Trinity summer shows are supported by the Assembly Hall Theatre and thanks also go to Baldwins Travel and Temper Temper Chocolate

PICTURE: IN GREAT VOICE: Children singing out in Madagascar Jr

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