The Whitehaven Theatre of Youth started over 20 years ago in 1998 as a workshop to give children a taste of all aspects of stage and theatre craft, including acting, singing, dance, direction, set design and lighting. Due to its popularity, a decision was made to continue to run it as a weekly group for children, aged from 7 years upwards.
The group is run by a hardworking band of dedicated volunteers. The tutors are also unpaid volunteers who between them share a wealth of experience in Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance; indeed they are often to be found treading the boards themselves in local theatres (as well as having a day job!)
We meet once a week at our new premises at Units 2 & 4, Haig Enterprise Park, Kells, Whitehaven. (although this does have to increase when rehearsing for a show) We are restricted to the number of children we can accommodate and have a waiting list. See our Contact Page to join the waiting list.
The Whitehaven Theatre of Youth has performed a vast selection of musicals, plays, and concerts at Rosehill Theatre, St James’s and Whitehaven Civic Hall. They have also attained great success at Workington and Whitehaven Drama Festivals. They support many local charities and have performed at concerts in and around Copeland. They have performed for Whitehaven Maritime Festivals and Victorian Fares and recently they performed at the Sands Centre, Carlisle.
We encourage our young people to express themselves and support each other in an atmosphere where mutual respect is the gateway to success. There are no stars in our group. Our members learn the importance of tolerance and team work. In 2007 the group produced their own concert which showcased the talents of the children in support of Children Against Bullying. This concert featured songs, music, and dance from the group – including poetry, especially composed for the concert, supporting the anti-bullying message.
The Group organise regular workshops with visiting professional artists and groups, one of the most popular is Albie. Recent sessions include “Time Machine” a drumming & percussion group and vocal coaching and drama
The Group are regularly taken to see professional shows of which Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Starlight Express, Joseph & Technicolor Dream coat, The Borrowers, The Sound of Music are just some. They also visit and support other local youth groups at their productions
The Whitehaven Theatre of Youth has produced many talented children over the years, notably Cory Spedding, the UK’s entrant for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest; Brad Kavanagh who won the part of Michael in the hit West End show, “Billy Elliot”. Brad has since gone on to work for Disney and still finds time to visit us. More recently Emma Dockeray who won Cumbria’s Got Talent.
Whether the Group produces a future star of stage, screen or music, there is no doubt that our Children benefit from the discipline of performance and the confidence that goes with it. We believe that to be a small but very important rung on the ladder of success.