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St Luke's Church Players, Brislington, Bristol

Author: Jonathan Rowe ( Secretary , St Luke’s Church Players )

St Luke’s Church Players in Brislington , Bristol celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2018 with “Frankenstein The Pantomime” December 6th – 8th 7.30pm & 2.30pm Sat matinee. This is the 17th show I’ve written for the group since 1991 but only the third panto.

“Frankenstein The Pantomime” also marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel and there are links with Bath, Bristol & Brislington which are incorporated into the panto. Claire Clairmont ( 1798 – 1879) ( Mary Shelley’s step sister) was with her from the time the novel was begun in Switzerland in 1816 to it’s publication in 1818. Much of the novel was actually written in Bath in 1816 – 17, and Claire Clairmont herself was born in Brislington , then a North Somerset village. She never knew her real father or place of birth as it was not discovered until 2010! The panto contains all the traditional elements, ( “He’s behind you”, “Oh yes he is, Oh no he isn’t “etc) along with snippets from the novel, lines of poetry by Percy Shelley & Lord Byron and references to the iconic films “Frankenstein (1931) & “Bride of Frankenstein” ( 1935) directed by James Whale who also had Bristol connections!

Jonathan Rowe ( Secretary , St Luke’s Church Players ) - I am one of only 3 surviving founder members still active in the group.

Posted on 26/05/2018

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Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival Returns, Bigger & Better

Author: Terry Rosoman
Head of Marketing


The festival will see more than 40 performances across 10 venues in two weeks, bringing the Welsh capital to life.

The Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival returns for its third time at the end of May, it’s aim: to bring a different flavour of theatre to the city. Affordable ticket prices and performances across many alternative venues ensure that the festival is accessible as possible to the theatre-loving public.

The festival runs from 31st May to 16th June, showcasing an abundance of styles and genres. Unlike other festivals, fringe festivals are open to all performers, regardless of their style or professional or amateur status. The lack of restrictions invariably leads to an exciting, colourful variety of performance, that offers something for everyone.

The festival’s partnership manager, Isabelle Paige, said:

"We have no criteria for the kind of work that can be performed. Everything is welcome, and as organisers, we're keen that all the shows in the festival are treated equally. They're all so different and will appeal to individuals for different reasons.”

Held in many “non-traditional” theatre venues like The Little Man Coffee Shop and AJ’s Coffee House, the performances are a much more intimate affair, connecting you with the performance more than you would in a traditional theatre.

"We like the social aspect of watching a performance in a non-¬theatre venue and took inspiration from the Edinburgh Fringe, where pretty much every pub and coffee shop is transformed into a performance space. Bringing the audience closer to the action.”

So what can you expect from this year’s festival? As usual, a huge array of acts, from slapstick comedy in Bummer & Lazarus to a fusion of storytelling from Weeping Tudor in Everything Changes. With many tickets costing the same as a pint of beer, you can’t go wrong!

The festival organisers believe the festival should be as affordable as possible, so returning this year are the collection of fantastic free events and workshops for people to get involved. Afterall, who doesn't love a freebie! Free events include an introduction to stand-up comedy, a scriptwriting workshop from ScriptDawg, a TV Drama Development talk from the production company, BadWolf and many more.

Finally, new additions to this year’s lineup are the Fringe Presents and the Fringe Labs. The Fringe Presents strand offers a range of fully-polished shows, while Fringe Labs showcases a range of totally new shows before they go out to the public eye.

Event sponsor, TicketSource - the free online box office solution, will again be organising the coveted TicketSource Festival Favourite Award, awarded to the standout performance at the festival, as voted for by the audience members themselves and a panel of judges. It’s a great opportunity for audience members to have their say and give the performers the recognition they deserve.

TicketSource will also be premiering a brand new award, the festival’s first TicketSource Script Writing Award with a £100 cash prize! Open to everyone and anyone, the competition involves submitting a short script written around a chosen theme. The three best scripts selected by a professional judging panel will have the opportunity to have their scripts performed live at the festival’s closing party on the 23rd June at The Gate, Cardiff. The chosen winner will also be taking home the £100 cash prize. So wet your pens and get the creative juices flowing!

TicketSource’s Head of Marketing, Terry Rosoman said: "It’s an honour to be involved with the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival again. Fringe festivals like this are a great way to showcase a diversity of theatre talent from across the country and productions that might not otherwise find a place in the city’s mainstream theatre venues."

The festival starts on 31st May and runs until the 16th June.

Full details and tickets for the 2018 festival programme can be found at

Information on how to vote for the TicketSource Festival Favourite Award or enter the TicketSource Script Writing Award can be found at

Posted on 22/05/2018

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Anything Goes for local Reverend who "misses the boat" as Bishop

Author: Norma Phillips
Secretary of
Teesside Musical Theatre Company


Reverend Peverell, Vicar of Great Ayton with Easby and Newton under Roseberry is taking part in our production of Anything Goes. He feels this is the only chance he will ever get to be a Bishop.
“Anything Goes” for local Reverend who “Misses the Boat” as Bishop

Teesside Musical Theatre Company were very pleased when Reverend Paul Peverell (fondly known locally as Rev Pev), Vicar of Great Ayton with Easby and Newton under Roseberry, accepted the invitation to take part in their production of “Anything Goes”, and he has admitted himself that this could be the nearest he ever gets to being a Bishop. Unfortunately, his role as Bishop Henry T. Dobson also means he will be arrested and physically dragged off the Cruise Liner S.S. American by the F.B.I. in the opening scenes (another new experience for Rev Pev). Let’s just hope that he abides by his own philosophy of not holding onto any grudges.

Rev Pev is not a stranger to “treading the boards” but is more likely to be seen as a pantomime dame, an indication that he is not your “run of the mill” Reverend. Anyone whose marriage in the parish of Great Ayton involved the Reverend’s bride and groom puppets would agree that the experience was truly unforgettable. Teesside Musical Theatre Company’s production of “Anything Goes” promises to be just as unforgettable with the Reverend as part of the cast.

Come and join in the fun and enjoy a wonderful evening of song and entertainment with this classic musical by Cole Porter including some of his most popular songs such as “It’s Delovely”, “I get a Kick out of you”, “Anything Goes”, “You’re the Top”, “Friendship” and “Blow Gabriel Blow”. Teesside Musical Theatre Company’s production of “Anything Goes” sets sail at Middlesbrough Theatre from Wednesday 25th April to Friday 27th April at 7.15pm, Saturday 28th April at 1.15pm and 6.15pm. Tickets cost £15 for adults (Eve) and £12 (Sat Mat), under 18’s £10 for every performance, and can be ordered from TMTC’s Ticket Secretaries on 01642 275970 and 01287 635259 or from the Theatre Box Office on 01642 81 51 81.

Anything Goes Anything Goes

Posted on 22/03/2018

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Shout Out Drama

Shout Out Drama

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Hoop Awards - Vote for Shout Out! - We're Finalists!!

I have some GREAT news, Shout Out! has been short listed for the new Hoop awards and we are so excited!

Shout Out! has been running weekly and holiday drama, crafts & other creative classes for families and children aged 1-10 years old. To date I have been lucky enough to meet and work with hundreds of amazing people, including you, who have shown me nothing but support,encouragement and love.

I feel honored and overwhelmed to have been nominated for this award as I know Hoop is a great tool for helping parents find classes and activities to do each day with their children- and there are SO many out there.
It also proves that all of the hard work that has gone into making Shout Out! accessible, affordable and fun, has been so worth it.

Shout Out! have made it into THREE categories;
- Best for Toddlers

- Best for Creative Fun

- Best for Mini performers

it would be amazing to win as the prize is an extensive marketing package which would be fantastic in helping me to reach even more families and children to offer fun, creative and affordable classes to.

Please follow this link to vote and feel free to add in any additional comments :)


I would love your support and you could even win 1 of 3x £100 vouchers Hoop are offering for your vote!

Thank you and I really appreciate all of your support :)

Hannah Ball

Posted on 08/03/2018

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Scherrikar Bell

Scherrikar Bell talks about how she Carved out her acting Career.

Tell us about your career. When did it start? How did you discover your talent?

My career as an actress began when I was 21! I randomly went to an open audition for the off west end play "Oh What a Lovely War!" I auditioned and got the role! It was so surreal as I was currently studying at University and never saw myself as an actress. But my mind set changed because of this role. I used the rehearsal process as my training ground, I learnt so much from the director Deidre Malynn and from the cast. It was on stage that I realised how powerful and satisfying comedy was to me. My character was a comedic soldier and nearly every other word I said was a gag and had the audience in stitches. I made it my mission to never forget that feeling and to fulfil my new dream as an actress.

Did you not feel an urge to act from a younger age?

Well I always loved watching movies as a child I grew up watching Die Hard, Rush Hour and Disney Movies on repeat! I loved the escapism effect it had on me. I would reeanact scenes with my siblings and cousins and perform it to our imaginary friends, we were way too shy to show it to our parents. It is only now that I am older I realise that I was 'acting' from a young age, but at the time it was just a way of having fun.

What is it that draws you to acting?

Many things. I love transforming my mind and body into the character I am portraying and love the feeling of telling a story. The best result is when I have resonated with the audience and they truly empathise with the story or my character.

How did your career unfold?

Well my second job was an independent comedy feature film called "Le fear 2". The majority of the film was improvised which was pretty cool and allowed me to be so free with my comedy again which was fab! After that I put a show-reel together and got an agent. This then opened more doors for me. Over the years I was cast in Eastenders, BBC Doctors and Netflix's Todd Margaret. All of these shows were great to work on. I was then cast in Bridget Jones's Baby movie which was awesome. And then led in two commercials one for HSBC and Soap and Glory Skincare.

Scherrikar Bell

Scherrikar Bell

What was a great moment for you as an actor?

Well my family seeing me on Eastenders was pretty cool because it was a hugely successful point in my career in their eyes. However, I personally thoroughly enjoyed being on the Star Wars VII set with Andy Serkis. It was a three day test shoot where I was cast as Maz Kanata who was finally played by Oscar Winner Lupita Nyongo. I got to really dig deep with this character and change my body, voice and mind. I got to work alongside Andy Serkis king of Mocap! and I got to work on the set of Star Wars. That moment in my life was just beyond fulfilling.

What are your future aspirations?

My goals for the future are to conquer American television. I would love to lead in a sci-fi TV series or comedy show.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Right now you can see me modelling for the Soap and Glory Skincare and beauty commercial. And a few weeks ago I wrapped on a British Red Cross movie shot as a VR Immersive film.

What advice would you give to young and new actors?

I would say go and get some training whether it is for a few years or a few weeks! You will always benefit from having some training. Also remember it is a marathon not a race, take your time and keep at it. Also be the best you can be on set, in the audition room and in class you never know who is watching!

Posted on 25/02/2018

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NEWS RELEASE - Haunted Theatres LIVE
For immediate release: 15 January 2018
Media Relations: Carol Lee
Twitter A/c: LuvC____ and @Hauntedtheatres

Haunted Theatres Live

An exciting brand-new play opens its doors for the first-time next month, in Stevenage.
The newly formed drama company, Unity Players of Hertfordshire presents, Haunted Theatres LIVE, as a guest production, at The Lytton Theatre in Vardon Road.
Written by Carol Lee-Brown, it is about a small independent paranormal investigation company, who have conducted several ‘LIVE TV’ broadcasts in Haunted Theatres, over the last few years. The theatre ‘owner’ has invited The Team, to conduct a paranormal investigation, to see if the tales of it being haunted, are in fact true. What happens during the LIVE broadcast, on and off screen, are all played out for the audience to see as and when it happens.
Carol said ‘I got the idea for the play, when I joined The Lytton Theatre, and was told by several people that it could possibly be haunted. Being interested in the paranormal world myself, the idea of writing a play about a LIVE TV broadcast and all the production side to it, when the cameras are not rolling, quickly came to me, and Haunted Theatres LIVE was born.’
She continued ‘With the Director Slava Budin-Jones, and the cast we personally ask to play the roles, the words of mine are truly lifted from the page and the characters are brought to life.’
Adding ‘It is a very technical play to produce, with videos being shown. It even has its own theme tune and title sequence. The play is more than just action on the stage, as soon as the audience walks through the doors, they are ‘IN’ the play.’
Proceeds from these performance dates will go towards The Lytton Theatre New Theatre Fund. Details of the project can be found on their web site
Haunted Theatres LIVE runs from Thursday 22nd February to Saturday 24th February, at The Lytton Theatre, Vardon Road, Stevenage, at 7.45pm each night.
Tickets can be bought online at

Haunted Theatres Live

Actors and Character names:

William Thomas Roney – as THOMAS

Derek Blyth – as PETER

Louise Wiseman – as Jen

Posted on 23/01/2018

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Sky Blue Theatre Co

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The British Theatre Challenge 2017


The British Theatre Challenge 2017 was a great success, not only were 10 winning plays performed but 9 of those plays were given offers of publication and John Yarbrough's 'The Rose Red City' will now be made into a short film!

Playwrights should note submissions are now open for 2018 and for inspiration you can now find all previous years winning plays on our Youtube channel

Warm Regards,
John Mitton
Posted on 06/01/2018

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Starbrite Studios

Starbrite Studios

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Starbrite Studios Starbrite Studios
Exam Results 2017

The exam results are in and WOW WOW WOW! Team Starbrite we have done it again! 100% Pass rate with results ranging from 81-95% with an IDTA theatre nomination.

This is an incredible achievement and one we should all be extremely proud of. The Pass rate for an IDTA exam is 65% so team Starbrite you have excelled yourselves.

The IDTA exam system is such a wonderful accreditation for the students to get involved with. The exam events themselves are fun, friendly and where lots of memories are made but also the exam process gives each student a goal to work towards and allows them to achieve it boosting self-esteem. It also means that a performing arts studio who can offer these type of exams is fully qualified and being monitored by that organisation to keep delivering top quality work.

At Starbrite Studios getting involved within the exam process is optional but it means that parents can rest assured that they are bringing their students to a place where people care, deliver high quality lessons matched with an equal amount of vibrancy and fun.

Starbrite Studios offering the opportunity for students to get involved with exams means we are confirming quality in dance, drama and musical theatre.

The word exam doesn’t mean dull and at Starbrite Studios we don’t understand the meaning of the word.

I cannot wait to hand out the results this week in class.

Congratulations everyone,
Love Miss Emma and the Starbrite Crew xx
Posted on 15/12/2017

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Starbrite Studios

Starbrite Studios

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Starbrite Studios
Students November 2017

PRESS RELEASE 6th November 2017

Starbrite Studios are to have Beverley ‘singing loud for all to hear’ with their forthcoming production of Elf Jr. The Musical.

Beverley residents will embrace their inner ‘elf’ when Starbrite Studios School of Performing Arts students present their production of Elf Jr. The Musical, it was announced today by Emma Bailey-Hague, Creative Director and Principal of Starbrite Studios.

The show features 60 Starbrite students, aged between 3 and 16 years, and premieres on Sunday 3rd December 2017 at The Hayward Theatre in Beverley.

Emma Bailey-Hague says: “Elf Jr. The Musical is an uplifting musical about one boy’s quest to find his true identity. The story encourages each of us to approach each day with goodwill, wonder and cheer. From the first rehearsal, the students have worked together as a team to create this wonderful experience for our community to enjoy. We think they deserve a standing ovation for all their work.”

Starbrite Studios will present two showings of Elf Jr. The Musical on Sunday 3rd December 2017 at 2:30pm and 5:00pm at the theatre, which is located on Flemingate, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU17 0PW. There is already much excitement around it, so people are being encouraged to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Show and ticket booking details can be found by visiting the Starbrite Studios website at

The musical tells the story of a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is given the name Buddy and raised by elves in the North Pole. Buddy lives happily unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list, and his stepbrother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of the holidays.

Elf Jr. The Musical is based on the 2003 New Line Cinema hit ‘Elf’ starring Will Ferrell, and features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin On Broadway, The Wedding Singer), a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

Notes to editor
* Starbrite Studios are Yorkshire's premier performing arts school, providing fun and inspiring tuition and training in the performing arts industries.
* Starbrite Studios has a 100% IDTA Exam success rate to date – 2017
* Starbrite Studios has a 94% Highest mark in most recent IDTA exam session - 2017
* Elf Jr. The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684
* Music Theatre International and Broadway Junior - Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.

Posted on 06/11/2017

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PRESS RELEASE Date: 31st October 2017

Finalists announced for 2018 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

We are delighted to unveil the shortlist for the 2018 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.

Alex Stevens, editor of Music Teacher magazine and chair of the awards judging panel, said:
‘This year’s awards showcase just how flexible and useful music can be, as well as highlighting the inspiring work of teachers up and down the country. From grime opera to CPR training, not to mention a range of initiatives aiming to widen access to a high-quality music education, the nominees provide a useful snapshot of our resilient cultural education sector.’

Created to celebrate excellence in music and performing arts education, the awards will be presented in 13 categories, from new products and resources to hubs, music departments and individual contributions to the sector.

The winners will be announced on 22 February 2018 at a gala ceremony taking place at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair.


Best Classical Music Education Initiative, sponsored by Classic FM
• NYO Inspire
• Welsh National Opera & CânSing Opera Resources
• ‘Wassail! Carols of Comfort and Joy’ (Alexander L’Estrange & United Learning)
• Monteverdi 450 Project (Bristol Plays Music & Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras)
• National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain

Best Digital/Technological Resource
• Minute of Listening (Bristol Plays Music)
• VIP Studio Sessions (Charanga Ltd)
• Soundtrap
• Dorico (Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH)
• Tido

Best Music Education Product, sponsored by Allianz Musical Insurance
• My World - I Love Music (Out of the Ark Music)
• GCSE Music Study Guides (Rhinegold Education)
• Being a Head of Music: A survival guide (by Patrick Gazard, Jane Werry & David Ashworth)
• The Saxophone: The Art and Science of Playing and Performing (by John Harle, published by Faber Music)
• Beginner Theory Series (BJB Music)

Best Musical Initiative
• Infinity Orchestra (Surrey Music Hub)
• It’s CPR! (Portsmouth Music Hub)
• Grown: A Grime Opera (Charanga Ltd & Essex Music Education Hub)
• Noise Solution
• Sing Up

Best Musical Theatre Education Resource, sponsored by Schools Printed Music Licence
• Matilda School Resources
• Broadway Junior Audition Materials (Josef Weinberger/Music Theatre International)
• The School Musicals Company Shows for Licence range
• Secondary School shows and production resources (The Musical Company)
• Wicked – Secondary Drama KS3 & 4 Resource

Best Print Resource, sponsored by Schools Printed Music Licence
• Five & Six Hands at One Piano (by Mike Cornick, published by Universal Edition)
• 4 Strings (by Liz Partridge, published by Boosey & Hawkes)
• Celtic Piano Series: Celebrating the beauty of Scotland (by Donald Thomson, published by EVC Publications)
• Five Note Philharmonic (by Sarah Watts, published by Kevin Mayhew)
• The Intermediate Pianist (by Heather Hammond & Karen Marshall, published by Faber Music)
• How to Teach Music: 100 Inspiring Ideas series (by David Wheway, Hilary Miles and Jonathan Barnes, Hanh Doan and David Guinane, Karen Marshall and Penny Stirling, published by Collins Music)

Best School Music Department, sponsored by the MMA
• Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, London
• The Belvedere Academy, Liverpool
• St. Christopher’s C.E. High School, Lancashire
• Rastrick High School, Calderdale
• The Premier Academy, Milton Keynes

Best SEND Resource
• The Improvise Approach (Carrie Lennard)
• The Short Guide to Accessible Music Education (Drake Music, Drake Music Scotland & Music Education Council)
• Open Orchestras (Open Up Music)
• OHMI Music Makers (One Handed Musical Instrument Trust)
• Relaxed Concert/Relaxed Prom (BBC National Orchestra of Wales)

Excellence in Primary/Early Years Music
• Little Notes
• M:Tech
• Singing Schools (The Voices Foundation & David Ross Education Trust)
• The Lullaby Concerts (Orchestra’s Live)
• Rocksteady Music School

Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award, sponsored by the Musicians’ Union
• Alison North, a music teacher at Lindley Junior School and director of Lindley Community Choir
• Rachael Clarke, Head of Performing Arts at Joseph Rowntree School, York
• Jo White, a community musician who increases the reach of music in healthcare through Rhythmix’s Wishing Well project
• Don Gillthorpe, Director of Music & Performing Arts at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy
• David Barton, a private music tutor, accompanist and composer based in Lichfield

There is no shortlist for the Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Incorporated Society of Musicians), the Music Education Council Major Award (sponsored by Music Education Council) or the Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award (sponsored by EVC Music Publications). Winners for these categories will be announced on the evening.


Tickets for the evening can be purchased from


The Music Teacher Awards for Excellence are organised by Rhinegold Media & Events Ltd in conjunction with Music & Drama Education Expo, and supported by Music Teacher magazine.

Rhinegold Media & Events Ltd has two operational divisions. The event portfolio consists of the Rhinegold LIVE recital series, Music & Drama Education Expo (Europe’s largest exhibition and professional development conference for music and drama education) and the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence. The media division is focused upon developing a range of digital products in partnership with its associate company, Rhinegold Publishing Ltd, one of the leading UK publishers for music and the performing arts.

Rhinegold Publishing produces specialist magazines for the music and performing arts industry including Classical Music, Opera Now, Music Teacher, International Piano, Choir & Organ and Teaching Drama, as well as a series of directories including the renowned Rhinegold British & International Music Yearbook. · · Tel: 020 7333 1733


For more information about the awards, please contact Louise Greener, events manager, on


• Yamaha
• Classic FM

Posted on 02/11/2017

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Starbrite Studios

Starbrite Studios

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Starbrite Studios
Startbrite students using the recording studio

PRESS RELEASE Date: 31st October 2017

Local performing arts school opens a new recording and green screen studio

Starbrite Studios School of Performing Arts is excited to reveal its new recording and green screen studio at its purpose-built performing arts facility. It is not only making these amazing facilities available for its current students, but also for the local community to develop their vocal skills and practice their filmmaking techniques.

Starbrite Studios is based in Shiptonthorpe in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and provides specialist triple-threat training through dance, drama, and singing classes for people aged from 18 months to adults, and prepares them for a confident future in the performing arts industry.

The new facilities are part of Starbrite’s drive to support the local community and create greater links with it.

Emma Bailey-Hague, Creative Director and Principal at Starbrite Studios says: “It’s great that these amenities are available for the students and they have really helped develop their social skills and build a sense of community in the school. We are encouraging people to have time in the recording studio if they want to take their singing to a professional level because it not only allows people to become familiar with how their voice works but also provides the place to teach the correct singing technique to protect it from injury.

To develop the skills needed for triple-threat training, we suggest making use of all the resources available as listening back in the recording studio is a wonderful way for boosting self-confidence and feeling good about yourself, which forms an important part of being successful. Students also get to digitally record their voices using our professional equipment and receive copies of their progress.

Our green screen studio allows singers and performers to be photographed and filmed and then superimposed onto virtual backgrounds. This is a great visual tool which creates the perfect environment to help students build up a strong portfolio to demonstrate their dance, drama, and singing skills which they can use to strengthen their college auditions.

The drama class not only provides a fantastic opportunity for those who want a career on stage but also aids the development of articulation with the benefits of enhancing coordination.

We are already seeing a lot of interest in these facilities from people in the local community and encourage others to experience them for themselves.”

If you are interested in joining this fun and vibrant performing arts school, then find out more information by visiting the Starbrite Studios website at

Notes to editor

* We are Yorkshire's premier performing arts studio, providing fun and inspiring tuition and training in the performing arts industries.
* 100% IDTA Exam success rate to date – 2017
* 94% Highest mark in most recent IDTA exam session - 2017

Posted on 31/10/2017

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Support Your Local Amateur Theatre Group

Author: Norma Phillips
Secretary of
Teesside Musical Theatre Company


We hope that Teesside Musical Theatre Company’s (TMTC) reputation will encourage audiences to buy tickets for the upcoming 2017 production of “Spamalot” being performed at Middlesbrough Theatre on 15-20 May 2017. “Spamalot” was aptly described by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as “a pantomime for all seasons”, and our production promises to be spectacular and hilarious, appealing to everyone who wants to leave the theatre feeling thoroughly entertained. The only pain you will experience from this encounter with a “python” is the ache in your ribs from so much laughter.

TMTC were excited to secure the rights to “Spamalot” in 2014 to be the first North East Amateur Company to perform the show. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, tickets sales are likely to be adversely affected by the fact that many people may have already seen the show recently in the local area.

True to the “Spamalot” ethos, we are determined to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, and rehearsals are progressing well. Our Committee and Members endeavour to be supportive of each other and work together to ensure the survival of local amateur theatre. Several members of Teesside Musical Theatre Youth Company are also part of the cast, giving them valuable experience in a full scale production and helping to secure the future of TMTC.

For “Spamalot” TMTC also have a Youtube page with amusing videos providing a taster of the production and showing how much fun the cast is having at rehearsals. Visit the page at and subscribe to receive news of future videos.

We need the support of local audiences to come and join in the fun at Middlesbrough Theatre from 15-20 May 2017 by ordering tickets from our ticket secretaries, Jacquie Kelly (tel: 07712 485211) and Sue Bargewell (tel: 07806 786327) or from the Box Office on 01642 815181. Tickets cost £15 for adults and £10 for Under 14s.

Posted on 28/04/2017

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Ben Crocker Pantomimes

How to Make Great Custard Pies...

I’m often asked about the perfect mixture for custard pies…

So, here is the traditional method. It achieves brilliant results, but it does take a bit of work. The number one benefit is that it looks funnier, because the foam adheres so well to the face. The second benefit is that it won't run to mush in a matter of minutes - it's quite durable and even after a few hours can be re-whisked to a good consistency.

NB. A note of caution. A custard pie is usually to the face. You obviously need to be careful and make sure (as you would with any mixture) that your actors are not allergic to it.

So here goes:

You need one, old fashioned, Palmolive shaving stick.

Grate the stick with a cheese grater into a bucket.

Add a half pint of boiling water.

Mix into a tough paste. (Use an electric drill with a plasterer’s whisk fitment.)

Slowly add water and continue whisking (15 mins or so…)

Stop when you achieve the right consistency – and that’s it! (Oh, and have some cotton buds to hand – if the foam gets into your actor’s ears it will stay there until gently removed.)

A good custard pie routine is always a crowd pleaser. All my scripts have a degree of physical, slapstick comedy, but the ones with cooking routines and custard pies are - Ali Baba and Sleeping Beauty. Both versions of Cinderella and Mother Goose also involve a good degree of gloop... You can check them out, along with all my other titles at:

As always, I’ll be happy to send you free reading copies.

Have a great Easter and all good wishes,

Ben Crocker

Posted on 07/04/2017

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The South Devon Players


Brixham theatre & film team, of local people, win national arts award

The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company are excited to announce that on the evening of March 19th, 2017 at an awards ceremony at the Sage conference centre in Newcastle, they were presented with the Epic Award for England. Laura Jay, one of the founders, and Michael Mirsadeghi, who is the head of editing, and cameraman of the Players current 6th Century Arthurian feature film Mordred, travelled to Newcastle to collect the award on behalf of the team, but as Laura feels it important to point out, this has been earned by efforts and collaborations of the entire team, not by any one person.

There is growing recognition in the media and in public policy of the importance of everyday participation in creativity. The Epic Awards shines a spotlight on the incredible achievements of these groups each year.
Winning groups are those that demonstrate the four Epic qualities – Engagement, Partnership, Innovation and Creativity.

Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture in the UK stated ""The fantastic work of the South Devon Players shows what can be achieved by the ingenuity and determination of arts groups."

This is wonderful recognition for a group which was founded by local Brixham performers, 11 years ago, on the proceeds of a carboot sale, and has grown into a vibrant theatre & film team, who perform newly researched historical shows around Devon, and whose film work is gaining recognition and awards abroad.
In addition the Players work hard to promote the skills of local creatives, with workshops and training, networking events, and involvement with other local organisations.

The award will stand next to the Torbay “Creativity In The Community” trophy won in 2010.

The group are currently in rehearsals for their summer stage show, a steampunk theatre production telling the story of the mysterious Victorian killer known as “Jack The Ripper” and also busy fund-raising for the final few days of filming their 6th Century Arthurian feature film, Mordred, the trailer for which is already selected for screening at international film festivals, in Hollywood, New York, Barcelona, as well as at Torbays very own English Riviera film festival. The crowdfund – as well as more information about the film, is at all assistance in promoting the crowdfund and the project is much appreciated.

Posted on 22/03/2017

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The South Devon Players



Brixham theatre & film team, shortlisted for national arts award & semifinalists in Los Angeles Cinefest film festival - In one day!

Some days just keep on getting better and better.

The day started pretty normally, until an email arrived from Voluntary Arts England. We, that is, the South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, are shortlisted for the Epic Awards 2017. This is a national award for creative organizations - voluntary, CIC, etc, who do work considered to be especially adventurous in their community. We are delighted and very proud that we are are one of 32 organizations around the UK who have made the shortlist.

Making the shortlist this year was especially down to our film production Mordred, which we have been working on, sometimes alongside other projects, for the past year.
If anyone would like to vote for us, for the Peoples Choice Award - the link is at

This was exciting news. We had just told oursouth devon players members the great news, when another email pinged into the inbox. This one, was from Los Angeles Cinefest, a US based film festival, to tell us that the trailer for our film Mordred, has been selected as a semifinalist in that film festival. Alongside the other recent success of being selected as a finalist in the Thanksgiving IndieBOOST 2016 Competition, in which the trailer was given a rating of 9.5 out of 10, in terms of acting, cinematography, technical and creative aspects.

The team are running a crowdfund to raise funds for the final few scenes needed, which will be filmed in 2017.This will be launched on Friday Febuary 10th. (the link will be on our website

“I am what you made me become!” is the tagline of the film, spoken by Mordred.
Set in a heavily researched backdrop of early 6th Century Devon & Cornwall, and researched from many early Celtic sources, as well as later medieval texts, Mordred tells the tale of King Arthur’s illegitimate son, and how two equally honourable men were brought to war.
Once the majority of principal filming was completed, our main editor, Michael Mirsadeghi, put together the official film trailer with a haunting soundtrack created by German film composer Michael Klubertanz. The team decided to submit the trailer to several international film festivals during the autumn.
This production not only showcases very heavily researched Dark Ages history of Devon and Cornwall (the southwest peninsula of the UK) , linked to some of the very earliest and less known Arthurian legends, but also equally to showcase the amazing skills by local actors, filmmakers, and other production creatives. Since there are very few opportunities, we decided to make our own and that is how The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company started, back in 2006. Now, years later, we have been able to branch into filmmaking, as well as theatre, reaching a much wider audience for our team.
Contrary to the usual glamourous medieval settings for many Arthurian adaptations, with knights in gleaming plate armour, and ladies in stunning court dresses; this is a very different production. Set in the early 6th Century, this drama is set within a very different landscape.
Following the departure of the Romans from Britain, the Southwest again became the Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia - what is now the southwestern peninsula of the UK comprising Devon & Cornwall. At this point in history, the Saxons were raiding along the coast, much as the Vikings did, centuries later. Set against this backdrop, Arthur and his warriors, fight to defend Dumnonia, against invasion.
The timeline for this film came originally from the entry for the year 537AD in the Annales Cambriae;
537 The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland. “Medraut” was the name that in later legend, became Mordred. We went with the later name “Mordred” simply so that it would be more recognisable to modern audiences.

The Southwest is linked to a wide number of legends connected with King Arthur, and as we researched, we found yet more old stories, both of Mordred, and and of other, Mordred-like characters who almost never appear in modern adaptations of the legend. Piecing these together, against this dramatic, ever-changing landscape of the Dark Ages, and using peripheral history of the times – for example; as the Saxons began to expand their kingdom of Wessex, Cynric, who was the first king of Wessex, is also an important character in our drama – we created our own version of the legend, with a lot of the backdrop which would have existed in the time it is set.
After months of research, rehearsing and training, the cast are really excited to begin filming at last!

The group running it, The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, from Brixham in South Devon, also founded by Laura Jay, has a proven track record over 10 years of producing historical theatre and film, working from the early days of raising £80 from a carboot sale and using the backroom of a pub for rehearsals.

large cast ranges from Julie Tetley playing Gitta; Morgan le Fay's maid and co-conspirator, and thirteen year old newcomer Reece Whitehouse playing King Arthur’s “legitimate” son, Duran, in their first ever major acting roles (in fact the first ever role for Reece), through our more experienced actors Rich Sandford who stars as Mordred, and Guillaume Rivaud, who plays King Arthur, right over to “Iron” Mike Mitchell, who, after holding 5 “Mr World” and 2 “Mr Universe” titles with the World Fitness Federation, went on to the world of acting and has appeared in films such as Gladiator, Braveheart, Skyfall, Apocalypse Z – and the TV soap Emmerdale.

The South Devon Players have an unusual raison d'etre; exemplified, in this project. The group, which started out as an amateur dramatics theatre group, specialising in historical and mythological drama, are a group of local career-orientated actors and creatives, who are unable, for various life reasons, or lack of resources, to move away to large entertainment hubs such as London, to make careers there.

It was considered very important to make sure that we were not making “just another King Arthur film”, and to find a unique adaptation. While novels have been written from Mordred's point of view, to our knowledge, this has never been transferred to film. That, coupled with spanning Devon and Cornwall, and delving into earlier and less known legends, has created an all new version of the legend.
Not that creating a production of this scale is easy. While grants were applied for, we found ourselves turned down by arts grants seeing this as a heritage project, and heritage grants seeing this as an arts projects, therefore cast and crew members are involved in a wide range of fundraising activities, ranging from small amounts from tombolas and face painting at fetes, and selling on ebay, through to a film/ scifi/ fantasy convention, grant applications, cabaret shows, ebook publications and more.
For costumes and props, It was also a case of keeping one eye on the history book and the other on what reclaimed fabrics and items can be remade, and adapted. We have to thank so many people who keep an eye out for second hand things that we can do this with.

This is an ambitious project, taking not just every ounce of creativity on screen, but also in the planning and logistics behind-the-scenes.

Posted on 08/02/2017

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Garden Suburb Theatre

An interview with Baker Street Irregulars director Mary Musker
Garden Suburb Theatre sent ace reporter Lavinia Quivers to interview the director of our upcoming show...!
Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars

An interview with the director, Mary Musker.

Just ten days to go till opening night - Tuesday 14 February... for six performances only


Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars What made you choose Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars?

I was looking for a play that would be family-friendly both in terms of casting and audience. The GST have had great fun and success in the past with adaptations of books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Railway Children, Treasure Island and Alice in Wonderland, for instance. So, I was looking around for another book adaptation and stumbled upon the idea of doing a Sherlock Holmes related play; the idea immediately appealed not least because of current popularity of the BBC Sherlock series. Following up that idea, I found an intriguing reference to a play version of the Baker Street Irregulars that had been performed in the US; further sleuthing got me Eric Coble's email address. I made contact and he sent me a copy of the play to read. The combination of good roles for teenagers and adults was immediately appealing and on a first reading we could see the theatrical possibilities.
Tell me more about the play.

It's an adaptation of a series of graphic novels about the Baker Street Irregulars written by two English guys, Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood. You can find out more about them here. So it's actually an adaptation of an adaptation! This origin in comics gave us lots of ideas about ways to stage the play and I hope you'll be able to spot lots of comic-book moments. The action takes place just after Sherlock and Moriarty have had a fight at the top of the Reichenbach falls and are both missing, presumed dead. Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars
Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars
Who are the Baker Street Irregulars?

They are a gang of street children who appear in several of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. They have all been helped by Sherlock in one way or another, and they are led by Wiggins who Sherlock paid a shilling a day to collect data.

They don't believe that Sherlock is dead and resolve to find him - but get diverted by another case.

So, is Sherlock Holmes not in the play at all?

I can't reveal that information! You'll have to come and see it to find out...

What have been the biggest challenges you've faced directing the show?

Wrangling a cast of 27! Also I've given the younger members of the cast an enormous amount to do - they all play several characters, make live sound effects, move furniture around - amongst other things - and never leave the stage. Plus I decided to stage the show on a traverse stage - with audience on both sides. Most if not all of the cast don't have experience on a stage like that and neither do I so that was pretty challenging, making sure that both sides of the audience get to see everything. Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars
Why should we come and see the show?

It's a super-entertaining way of spending a couple of hours on a cold February evening. Fun for all the family from six to 106!

Posted on 06/02/2017

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