Woking Youth Theatre

WOKING Youth Theatre, which revived earlier this year, has two plays in the Woking Drama Festival, including one that it has been given special rights to perform.

The group is putting on a stage adaptation of the 1980s coming-of-age film The Breakfast Club after receiving permission from the estate of John Hughes who wrote, produced and directed the movie.

The Breakfast Club cast, from left to right: Rhiannon Kitchener (Alison), Alex Hazelton (Bender), Josh Ryley (Brian), Ryan Knight (Andrew) and Juliet Hazelton (Claire)

Bruce Hazelton, chairman of Woking Youth Theatre, said: “When we were given permission to adapt The Breakfast Club to the stage for the festival we didn’t want to exclude the majority of the members from taking part, so we decided to submit another one as well, Refugee Camp 25.

The Breakfast Club is being entered as an adult entry so the two are not competing against each other for best youth play.”

Bruce added: “The thought-provoking portrayals of teenage alienation, isolation, insecurity and the natural craving for acceptance are truly as relevant in 2019 as they were in 1985 when the original film hit the big screen. This really is a production not to be missed.”

Refugee Camp 25 is an ensemble play with a cast of 20, essentially the rest of Woking Youth Theatre and features five tales about fictional refugees.

The Breakfast Club show will be performed tonight (Friday 11 October) and Refugee Camp 25 on Tuesday 15 October. Visit www.wokingdramafestival.co.uk to book tickets.

For the full story get the 10 October edition of the News & Mail

THIRTY budding actors have enrolled for workshops run by the revived Woking Youth Theatre.

WYT has been relaunched by a group of former members, now well into their forties and fifties,  after closing more than 10 years ago.

The new class of the revived Woking Youth Theatre with Emma Hough, the workshop leader and Bruce Hazelton, the WYT chairman.

Bruce Hazelton, the group’s chairman, said the first workshop was a great success, with participants engaging in drama-based games and improvisation for nearly two hours.

Workshops are lead by Emma Hough who has a Masters Degree in musical theatre.

Catherine Lake, youngest daughter of WYT’s late founder David Hawksworth said she was delighted by the revived group.

“Woking Youth Theatre has started again! The room was buzzing with new faces,” Catherine said. “The workshop was just right and they all seemed to love it. Roll on next week.”

For the full story get the 28 March edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Youth Theatre – whose former members include stars of films and TV programmes such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Victoria and The Crown – is being revived after it closed nearly 15 years ago.

A group of former young WYT performers, led by Bruce Hazelton, is relaunching the weekly workshops run by professional actors and teachers.

Two generations of WYT. From left, Bruce, Juliet and Alex Hazelton with Max Harris and Emma Brewer

Many of the former WYT members have gone on to great success on stage and screen, including Anna Wilson Jones (Victoria), Dermot Keaney (Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3), Victoria Hamilton (The Crown, Doctor Foster), Sam Underwood (Homeland), and Abbie Osmon (We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia).

Bruce said: “We are very excited to get WYT up and running again. It’s a huge responsibility to step into David’s shoes but we have so many talented ex members, willing to impart their knowledge; in acting, singing, dance, stage management, production, costume design and other things”.

He said he wanted to continue the late founder David Hawksworth’s vision of providing a safe environment for children to “have a laugh and put on a play”.

“David wanted it to continue to be earthy and not artsy fartsy; somewhere where the kids can be themselves.”

Founder of WYT David Hawksworth who passed away in 2015

Bruce and the others setting up the revived WYT, including David Hawksworth’s daughters Sarah Tubb and Catherine Lake, have spent the past year finding a venue and setting up the group as a charity.

He said he hoped that the first show from the new WYT would be performed next year, hopefully at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre.

A web designer by trade, Bruce was heavily involved in setting up the News & Mail when this paper relaunched in 2011.

For the full story and details on how to get involved with WYT, pick up the 7 March edition of the News & Mail