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Wolverhampton youth theatre celebrates 20th anniversary

By Harriet Evans | Wolverhampton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Wolverhampton Youth Music Theatre are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a performance of Rock of Ages.

Wolverhampton Youth Music Theatre are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a performance of Rock of Ages at the Arena Theatre the following week. Pictured , front centre, Kate Woodman and Joseph Ritey with fellow cast members

Members of WYMT will be rehearsing intensively everyday for two weeks during the summer holidays to bring the show to life.

The theatre company was established in 1999 by Michael Pike and Lesley Woodyer through an outreach project at Wolverhampton Music School.

The group perform annually, this year this coincides with their anniversary celebrations and the 10 year anniversary of Lesley Woodyer's death.

Diane Spencer, who now manages the theatre company, said: "I hope that we can continue to keep her memory alive and continue her legacy."

As well as the show, the current group and former members reunited a few weeks ago and performed musical numbers from past productions to celebrate the work they've done over the years.

As well as the social aspect, the training provided aims to replicate that of the professional industry.

Jess Olford, 19, was a member of WYMT for a number of years, she now trains at Emil Dale's Academy of Performing Arts.

She said: "I'd always wanted to be in theatre since I was six, WYMT has been one of the things that kept my passion alive.

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"The training I got here has given me great preparation for drama school and my career."

WYMT is now an official hub partner of the Music Service, who provide vital funding for their activities from Arts Council and Wolverhampton City Council.

They are ran by a team of arts and educational professionals who mentor and supported members to go onto successful careers on stage, behind the scenes and in many other creative and media pursuits.

Former member, Amy Evans, now works as a dance teacher at The Royal School and has come back to lend a hand behind the scenes for Rock of Ages.

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She said: "I wasn't busy so I thought I'd come back and help out where I can.

"I was a member for seven years and it was always like being part of a family, everyone gets on so well."

Wolverhampton Youth Music Theatre's performance of Rock of Ages will be performed from 3 September to 7 September at the Arena Theatre.

Harriet Evans

By Harriet Evans
Community Reporter - @HarrietEvans_ES

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, covering the issues affecting young people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Contact me at harriet.evans@expressandstar.co.uk

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