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youtheatre

THE SUMMER 2017 PROJECT

After the success of Bryony Lavery’s TREASURE ISLAND in April 2017, Jersey Arts Centre’s youtheatre will present Ben Power’s MEDEA from 29 June 2017 at Jersey Arts Centre.
If you are interested in joining the youtheatre company, then the next intake will be in September 2017 – date to be announced.

ARE YOU?
Aged between 14 & 19?
Seriously interested in theatre?
Free between 6pm & 8pm on Wednesday evenings?
Bored on Sundays?

If so, then why not join the Jersey Arts Centre’s professionally led company throughout the autumn and spring term into a full-scale production in 2018?
If you have the energy, the commitment, the imagination and a serious sense of humour then look for our next intake date – coming soon!

Image: TREASURE ISLAND 2017 Jersey Evening Post

Our Latest Reviews…

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE ~ June 2016

“…compelling, thoughtful and at times thoroughly disturbing…as smoke fills the arena, Nayar defiantly stares out people in the crowd, stomping round the stage…it is a clever technique, pulling the audience into the production from the moment they take their seats…the youtheatre continue to push the boundaries and should be applauded for their bravery and desire to test themselves – and their audience…viddy well, brothers.”

RAMSAY CUDLIPP ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

MATCHBOX THEATRE ~ February 2015

“…The cast of the Jersey Arts Centre youtheatre excelled themselves in their first-night performance…the use of wooden seats, which the actors moved around the stage to set each scene, was simple but very effective…the soundtrack, which included vintage blues and jazz was particularly well chosen…Frayn’s work may not be to everyone’s liking, but if he’s your sort of of writer, then this excellent adaptation will suit you very well.”

GILL KAY ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST ~ June 2015

“…if anyone can be said to take risks, it’s the Arts Centre’s youtheatre… [this] innovative theatre company has been behind some of the Island’s most imaginative stage productions of the last decade… Co-directed by youtheatre stalwarts Nicole Twinam and Hettie Duncan, Cuckoo’s Nest is respectful to both the source novel and the film, yet it doesn’t slavishly follow either, instead developing an identity entirely of its own… The two directors have clearly used their own backgrounds as youtheatre actors to draw out performances that entirely belie their cast’s youthful years… Portraying the iconic McMurphy, 15-year-old Peter Jones has a lot of baggage resting on his shoulders, but you would never know it to witness his supremely cocksure performance… Peter stamps his own identity on the role… The electric-shock therapy sequence was particularly ingenious…”

TOM OGG ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE TRIAL ~ February 2015

“The Old Magistrate’s Court was the perfect setting… The ensemble worked like a cell and symbolised physically the levels of tension and tone in the play… [it] captured the brooding menace of his [Joseph K’s] existential nightmare… They moved their cast around like merry-go-round figures, strung them up like puppets and made them intimidating, tribal, violent, absurd and cajoling while navigating between poles of utter torment and surrealist humour… The play was meant to be in this space… it was the way they turned the place into a labyrinth that was most impressive… This effect was a metaphor for K’s confusion and the avenues that would appear tantalisingly open to him only to close again… The performance was fizzing with youthful energy… this drama has never been more relevant.”

JOANNA JOHNSON ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

ANTIGONE ~ February 2014

“… a fresh and compelling rendition… it was as a collective the actors most impressed. The script was delivered flawlessly… A ‘rave’ scene, redolent of debauched Greek celebrations, was a surprising but compelling scene, making a disjointed, free-flowing contrast to the tight, military-precise movements of the rest of the play… the themes of folly and hubris are still as relevant as ever, but the youtheatre still manages to breathe new life into a play that was penned more than 2000 years ago…”

RAMSAY CUDLIPP ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE JUNGLE BOOK ~ June 2013

“The ancient grounds of La Hougue Bie were filled with the sound of wild animals… In a fine performance from the committed youtheatre… In a novel and effective way of utilising the natural space… the storyteller, Brahmin, [was] played with authority and gravitas by Gemma Hamilton…

It was an inspired choice… to use more than one actor for the main characters… the three girls playing the dangerous snake Kaa (Martha MacDonald, Layla Arthur and Chloe Wallser) were all bedecked in colourful saris and trinkets and sashayed through the scenery like a powerful, lithe reptile – chanting their words in tandem to great effect.

It is no mean feat to fill such a large, open arena with sound and meaning but the young cast managed it with aplomb… The 90-minute performance was a triumph and [Hermione] Duncan was superb as the vulnerable Mowgli, searching desperately for an accepting tribe among both humans and animals, and her final monologue was delivered with raw emotion and passion… a unique setting.”

RAMSAY CUDLIPP ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE TEMPEST ~ June 2012

“youtheatre‘s version of The Tempest shuns convention, [and] embraces risks… an admirable reworking by the cast that at times burns with drama and at others oozes humour… This is Shakespeare upside-down…”

ED BOLLA ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE CONVERSATION ~ April 2012

“…death, politics, religion and the nature of fear were all covered during the show… I was impressed with the sheer guts of the youthful cast… and their well-thought-out and convincingly articulated opinions… it will be of interest to anyone who wants to see something a little different to the norm. Before going to watch it I recommend you leave your preconceptions about theatre in the foyer.”

ED BOLLA ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

GODSPELL ~ July 2011

“This youtheatre production is like the greatest Abba singalong, YMCA dance routine and risque story about the groom all rolled into one. In short, wow… this dynamic, uplifting and funny production… beautiful harmonies… St. Helier Methodist Centre is the most beautiful, ideal setting.”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Christmas Revival) ~ December 2011

“…unwavering professionalism, confidence and attention to detail… The entire cast, from lead Alice to white rabbit and the morphing Tweedles, is a joy, but just a tiny mention of the uber-confident (male) Queen of Hearts, for creating a manic persona somewhere between Frankie Howerd and the malfunctioning robotic head in Total Recall… if you’re a pedantic fan of surreal classics like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this is the version for you.”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

GAMES ~ September 2010

“…Superb use of multi-media saw a giant projection screen mixing images of the cast in rehearsals with the [My Lai] massacre itself and American space rockets. There was also an infamous clip from ‘The Deer Hunter’ – made surreal because the film’s Certificate meant that everyone aged under eighteen had to leave the auditorium, including all the performers… the five teenaged current youtheatre members were exceptional… their (real or simulated) confidence shone… ”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND ~ July 2010

“…St. James again proves its unique performance value, with every area decorated: walls of mirrors, walls of clocks and a small beach in one corner… [and] intricate dialogue… They demonstrated the value of silence amongst the noise at the infamous tea party where everyone simply stopped… A well-crafted moment in a well-crafted production… Like the original book, this Alice in Wonderland is gloriously, gloriously odd – and I’m sure Lewis Carroll is looking down approvingly from above.”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

LIFE OF GALILEO ~ March 2010

“… The actors, one and all, are superb. The bravest of the brave, they walk amongst audience members with a confidence… This confidence includes coping immaculately with Brecht’s actor-torturing text… the direction and use of every nook and cranny in St. James demonstrates what can be done when you take away theatrical conventions. The Jersey Arts Centre youtheatre has again challenged a play and a playwright that most theatre companies wouldn’t touch, and succeeded… It is a production that demands your attention and holds it from start to finish. If you want to be part of something unique, go.”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

ARTS ALIVE ~ December 2009

Rod McLoughlin looks back at the cultural highlights of the decade…

“…A stage highlight of the past ten years has been the re-emergence of the Arts Centre’s youtheatre under its charismatic director, Daniel Austin. I thought their version of Euripides’ The Women of Troy at St. James simply magnificent, bringing to life a timeless classic in a way which was compelling for a modern audience.

It is an extraordinary visual imagination which distinguishes many of this director’s productions – here recreating from scrap metal the chaos of war-torn Troy with shadowy figures rushing manically through the gloom deliberately to unsettle the audience…”

JERSEY EVENING POST ~ Rod McLoughlin 30 December 2009

 

OUTSIDE / INSIDE ~ April 2009

“Gems amid the noise.”
“Julie Park finds experimental theatre rather hard going.”
“Let loose, the Arts Centre’s technical team always create stunning staging, providing a real insight into what’s possible outside a rectangle… There were moments of real pathos from the Children of Wax and humour following statutory instructions as they mangled (‘we apologise for the grass’)… there was also real meaning in the young actors describing what was inside them – from food to secrets… [but] is experimental theatre too much for Jersey?”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

OUR TOWN ~ July 2008

“With the absence of props, apart from 20 wooden chairs and the actors’ chequered shirts of differing colour, the cast successfully create the entire town and the various sound effects themselves… The enthusiasm was evident… The uplifting finale is a fitting end to another successful performance from the youtheatre.”

RAMSAY CUDLIPP ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE WOMEN OF TROY ~ March 2008

“Like a Trojan Kate Adie, the Arts Centre youtheatre takes us into Euripides’ action in all its gory glory… Great use is made of the piano, both gently played and loudly tortured by the multi-talented Tom Weber… Alternately defiant and distraught, Francesca Duncan’s confidence shines through, stunningly unafraid of silence even when alone in the spotlight… The youtheatre always creates a fresh, intense theatrical experience and The Women of Troy excels in these aims.”

JULIE PARK ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE ADVENTURES OF MR TOAD ~ July 2007

“… another tightly choreographed ensemble piece in the trademark youtheatre style which boasts some fine acting … Jack Speckleton is a crowd-pleasing rambunctious Mr Toad in a spirited performance reminiscent of Matt Lucas’s recent star turn for the BBC as the bufoonish amphibian. Jack can happily hold the stage on his own … The Adventures of Mr Toad should leave audiences feeling a warm glow …”

JANE DELMER ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

HAROUN AND THE SEA OF STORIES ~ July 2006

“Fast-paced and funny, the play is a homage to story-telling… a perfect vehicle for the youtheatre… The actors use buckets and bodies in ingenious ways to create boats, beds, buses, battles and buildings. The elements of the production that work best outdoors are the slapstick and physical clowning, a vibrant and hugely enjoyable blend of rhymes, whistles, cartwheels, mock-bad singing and dancing… In the words of one of the characters, as a piece of theatre it is ‘SuperMarvelloso, Incredibable, and wholly Fantastick!'”

JACQUELINE MEZEC ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE ~ April & September 2006

“…an enchanting performance… the choice of Mont Orgueil as the setting for an adaptation of C S Lewis’s classic children’s story is inspired. The battlements not only make a stunning backdrop… they also embody a medieval romanticism in keeping with the original novel. A tightly discplined, physical production, this is as fine an ensemble piece as we have come to expect from the youtheatre. The simple, stylised costumes, with every performer carrying a wooden staff, lend the production a suitable arcadian feel which only adds to its charm.”

JANE DELMER ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE LAST VOYAGE OF PHILIP DAUVERGNE ~ September 2005

“Quirky, hyper-kinetic and irreverent, this rollicking romp grabs attention and keeps it… the strength of the youtheatre is in their ensemble work achieved through dedication by everyone… With wordplay, football chants, Jersey humour, catchphrases, shrieks, shanties and rap, this eclectic, high-energy show takes many liberties. This is history filtered through our media-driven culture with a strong message about destiny, an entertaining concoction delivered with conviction and verve.”

JACQUELINE MEZEC ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

UNDER MILK WOOD ~ April 2005

“The youtheatre are fast developing a reputation for doing anything but the ordinary, and this production is no exception, with a group of mature, committed performers who prove they really are up for the challenge.”

LOUISE NIBBS ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

GILGAMESH ~ September 2004 & February 2005

“The cast were already present when the audience arrived, setting a scene of quiet intensity in which the touch of a hand or the brush of one body against another was enough to make the condensed space between one and the other crackle with tension… impressive and mature… powerful and mesmeric… This is a stunning production of a stirring story and deserves the widest audience.”

ELAINE HANNING ~ Jersey Evening Post

 

THE JAC youtheatre PRODUCTIONS

2002 The Ramayana by Peter Oswald

2002 Pippin by Stephen Schwartz

2003 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht

2003 Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare *

2004 Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie / Piers Chater-Robinson

2004 Gilgamesh by The Company

2005 Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas

2005 The Last Voyage of Philip D’Auvergne by Simon Crowcroft *

2006 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis / Adrian Mitchell

2006 Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salmon Rushdie / Tim Supple

2007 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane

2007 The Adventures of Mr Toad by Kenneth Graham / Ginman & McAllister

2008 After Liverpool by James Saunders

2008 Women of Troy by Euripides *

2008 Our Town by Thornton Wilder

2009 outside/inside by The Company

2009 One Million Tiny Plays About Britain by Craig Taylor

2009 Notes to a Goldfish by The Company

2010 Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht *

2010 Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll / The Company

2010 Games by James Saunders

2011 Attempts On Her Life by Martin Crimp

2011 Godspell by Stephen Schwartz

2012 The Conversation by The Company *

2012 The Tempest by William Shakespeare

2013 A Dream Play by August Strindberg

2013 The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

2014 Antigone by Sophocles / Stephen Spender

2014 The Harold Pinter Revue Sketches by Harold Pinter

2015 The Trial by Franz Kafka / Stephen Berkoff

2015 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey / Dale Wasserman

2016 Matchbox Theatre by Michael Frayn *

2016 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

 

* these 6 productions also toured to St. Helier’s twin town of Bad Wurzach, in Southern Germany, as part of an historic cultural exchange

 

Photo: A CLOCKWORK ORANGE / 2016 / Steven Laffoley-Edwards