Awards joy for city stage stars

Ripon Youth Theatre's Lucy Atkinson, Charlotte Atkinson, Adam Makepeace, Will Eley, Milly Downing.
Ripon Youth Theatre's Lucy Atkinson, Charlotte Atkinson, Adam Makepeace, Will Eley, Milly Downing.
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A Ripon youth arts club is celebrating awards success for its members, only two years after being established.

Ripon Youth Theatre has taken seven nominations at the prestigious Wharfedale Festival of Theatre, and the club’s young members are “over the moon” with their success, said volunteer Dan Atkinson.

The group was set up only two years ago as a side project of Ripon Amateur Operatics, and aims to develop the talent of the young people who joined their large scale productions of shows like Oliver and the King and I.

In March they staged hit musical The Wiz at Ripon Grammar School. The show caught the attention of the Wharfedale festival’s judges, and seven of the production’s young stars – Lucy Atkinson, Charlotte Atkinson, Adam Makepeace, Will Eley, Milly Downing, Laura Eccles and Sam Place – are up for acting awards. Winners will be announced at the festival’s awards evening in July.

The group is entirely volunteer run, relying on a team of four adults who are the at each meeting to help the young performers with their acting, singing and dancing, as well an many more parents and helpers who lend a hand with costumes, act as chaperones, and sit on the committee. The club meets every other Saturday, and in two years it has gathered 50 young members, aged between six and 16,. The group’s next production – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – will be staged in spring 2013.

Ripon Youth Theatre has proved so popular organisers have had to close the group to new members, but names can be added to the waiting list by contacting Louise Chase at louise.chase@btinternet.com.