Yeovil Youth Theatre

Yeovil Youth Theatre Alumni:

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Aaron Baker

Regrettably, I was only in one YYT production. Whilst still at Secondary School and concentrating more on my performance as Marius in Les Miserable than my exams, I was approached in a singing lesson to attend workshops for YYT's production of Billy Elliot. At first I was hesitant as I started to worry I may seriously damage my results at school if I did more shows. However, two days after I closed Les Mis at school, I made the decision to go for YYT! I can confidently say it was one of the best decisions I made as an aspiring actor. From my later years of school I wanted a career in theatre, but all I had done was school shows to crowds of 180 in a school hall.

Following my audition for YYT I was awarded the role of Dad, a great challenge for a 16 year old! The rehearsals for me felt very open and felt I was able to contribute a lot of my personal thoughts into my character whilst being well directed and taught how to play my character. The scale of the production, and it's already established fan base ,over whelmed me.

This production not only gave me my first opportunity to perform at the Octagon Theatre but also the Poole Lighthouse Theatre, and even the Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End, an opportunity that I was given purely from the incredible direction and coaching that the team at YYT gave me in rehearsals.

Since the production, I have been asked to perform in other local productions with other companies due to the network YYT gave me with other thespians in the local town. After Billy I went on to study at The Somerset Performing Arts Centre for Education (the SPACE) with a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts (specialising in Acting). Since leaving YYT, the company have constantly kept in touch and wished me well in all my productions and I still regularly talk to both Creatives and cast members.

I am now leaving The SPACE and progressing to East 15 Acting School where I will train on the BA (Hons) Acting and Contemporary Theatre course. It has always been my dream to perform on West End stage, so thank you YYT for that opportunity and it's also been my dream to go to drama school. Another achievement of mine that without the experiences of YYT - and all the baggage that came with it - I might not have been able to do.

My memories of working with Yeovil Youth Theatre will stay with me through out my career as an actor and I wish to always be a friend and fan of the company.


Alan Ferguson

Alan and Will are long standing supporters and ex members of Yeovil Youth Theatre. Between them have been involved in many of our major productions as ensemble and leads in Les Mis, Our Day Out, Fame, High School Musical, Footloose, Oliver and The Addams Family.

Outside YYT they have performed with Yeovil Operatic Society, Yeovil Musical Theatre Company and Yeovil College in West Side Story, Godspell, Guys and Dolls, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, The Wizard of Oz and Jesus Christ Superstar.

In November 2015 Alan and Will founded Beatnik Theatre Company, a not-for-profit company with the primary aim to bring something a little bit different to Yeovil’s theatre scene. After a year of fundraising (with more to come) the company is growing and their first major production, ‘Avenue Q’, will premier at Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre in June 2018 - the first time this popular puppet musical will be performed in Yeovil. 

“It’s because of the skill, hard work and dedication of those at YYT that we’ve felt able to launch a new theatre company here in Yeovil. We’re looking forward to the future where we hope to be able to cast some of the excellent talent coming up through YYT in our productions. Locally, there is no better training ground for budding young actors than Yeovil Youth Theatre”.

Facebook – beatnikofficial
Twitter - @beatniktheatre
www.beatniktheatre.co.uk


Ashley Rushton

I was a part of Yeovil Youth Theatre for both West Side Sto ry (Sharks) and Footloose (Chorus). In both of those shows, I found my love for dance and musical theatre to grow. I realised that within dance was where my passion and talent lied. During my time at Yeovil Youth Theatre I was studying a BND in Performing Arts at Yeovil College. After leaving Yeovil Youth Theatre I went on to study a BA (Hons) Dance at De Montfort University in Leicester and I have recently completed my degree. I believe that the multitude of skills I learnt with YYT was one of the main reasons for wishing to pursue further education within the performing arts and enabled me to build upon the skills learnt whilst performing in the two shows I was involved in.

YYT gave me the confidence and belief in myself to be able to realise my dream of furthering a professional career in performance. Being given the opportunity to be able to perform on such a large stage as the Octagon gave me valuable knowledge and experience that has been crucial within my degree.

As a graduate, I am now looking for professional jobs in performance and was scouted at my end of degree showcase. Whilst the future is unknown and exciting, YYT will always be a part of my life which sparked my passion for performance and I simply would not be where I am today if it weren't for all the support, tutoring, skills, knowledge and enjoyment I received whilst with YYT; Thank you! Ashley Rushton


Chris Hogben

I was part of Yeovil Youth Theatre (or the Young Octagon, as it was then) from 1998 to 2002, playing Sid in 'The Pajama Game', several characters in 'Oliver', Riff in 'West Side Story' and Joseph in 'Joseph & his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'. It was an invaluable, foundational time for me, learning on my feet, getting the chance to try a range of work and gaining vital experience in front of an audience. We are so, so lucky to have such a dynamic, talented youth theatre in Yeovil - a truly rare case around the UK, in my experience - and source of great pride!

After a couple of shows with the National Youth Music Theatre, I took the BA Acting course at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 2007, and have continued to work on stage and screen ever since, touring the UK and Europe and do ing shows in the USA and Bulgaria. I recently finished working with Stephen Berkoff on his production of 'Oedipus', and touring Michael Morpurgo's 'The Butterfly Lion' around the UK, and am currently helping to devise a play about, of all things, Yeovil To wn Football Club!


Danielle Morris

Danielle trained at CPA Studios and graduated with the Stephen Mear Award for Musical Theatre.

Theatre Credits include Hattie/Understudy Kate/Lilli in Kiss Me Kate (Gatehouse Theatre, London), Rosey in Darling of the D ay (Union Theatre, London), Nightingale in Once Upon A Mattress (Union Theatre, London), Ensemble/Cover Linda in Coronation Street - Street of Dreams (MEN Arena, Manchester), Daisy in Blue birds (Above The Stag Theatre, London), Ensemble in The Wizard of Oz (Larnaca Festival, Cyprus) and Ensemble in She Loves Me (Minerva Theatre, Chichester).

Danielle was also a Dance Captain for the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony in London. DaniMorris


Evie Hoskins

Evelyn made her professional debut playing Thea in the Lyric Hammersmith/West End production of 'Spring Awakening'.

She then went on to play a regular storyline in Casualty and Holby City (BBC) and a guest lead in an episode of the TV series 'Misfits' (E4).

In 2011 Evelyn toured the US playing Wendy in 360's production of 'Peter Pan'.

Other theatre credits include numerous workshops for the National Theatre, Martha in 'The Secret Garden' (Birmingham Rep) and Rhonda in 'Coolrider' The Grease 2 concert (Lyric, West End).

She has recently filmed a Pilot for ITV2 and is very exci ted to be working under the direction of Sir Alan Ayckborn on a new musical this Summer. She will then be going on to reprise her role as Nicky, touring in award winning musical 'This is my Family' in the Autumn.

@evelynhoskins


Hattie Eason

I was a member of Yeovil Youth Theatre for six years and in that time I really felt like I grew as a performer and as a person. Yeovil Youth Theatre gave me the opportunity to improve my acting, singing and dancing skills; my confidence grew over the years and I have a lot to thank the company for.

Shows I participated in were Our Day Out (Jenny/Ronson), Oliver (Fagin's gang), School's Will Rock You (Ensemble), High School Musical (Ensemble), West Side Story (Anybodys) and Our House (Ensemble).

I started YYT when I started Secondary School; after school I went to study AS Levels at Strode College, Street. I then went onto study and complete my BTEC Extended Diploma at Strode. I am now completing my Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting) at Strode before moving to Newcastle in September to study BA (Hons) Performance at Northumbria University.

Since being a member of YYT I have become more confident as a performer and I have built up the courage to move on and audition with other companies. I can honestly say that Yeovil Youth Theatre is one of the reasons why I chose to pursue a career in performance.

I would like to thank Yeovil Youth Theatre for helping me grow and I will never forget all the great experiences I had whilst I was a member. I will carry these memories with me throughout my education and career.

Hattie Eason


Jonny Purchase

Jonny Trained at Guilford School of Acting graduating with a BA Hons in Musical theatre in 2010.

Theatre credits include: Prince/Nespolous in Ivor Novello's 'Gay's the Word' (Finborough), Prince Charming in 'Cinderell a' (Octagon, Yeovil), Ensemble/Prince Percival in 'Sleeping Beauty ' (Hall for Cornwall, Truro) and Phillip in 'West End Glee Club' (Edinburgh Fringe).

Concerts include: Tenor singer in 'The Cantabile Christmas Concert' and Ensemble singer in 'DORA: A gala concert'.

Television includes: Tonights the night.
Film Includes: Les Miserables.

Jonny can be seen in Les Miserables (Queens, West End) playing Ensemble/Cover Marius. He is also currently filming the short film 'The Returned'.

@jonnypurchase


Katy Lye

Katy trained at Laine Theatre Arts, gaining a Trinity P rofessional Diploma in Musical Theatre.

Since completing her training Katy has undertaken a range of performance contracts including a season in Spain in 2012, wher e she performed in a Michael Jackson Thriller show and playi ng Ikette Hattie, in Bill Kenwright's Soul Sister, No1 UK tour 2013. Katy has just returned from a tour in Germany with GFD Productions: World of Musicals, performing such classics as Ci rcle of Life, Shadowland and Fabulous Baby.

In 2013 Katy had the privilege of performing at the O livier Awards Ceremony as part of the cast of Soul Sister, nominated f or Best New Musical.

When not performing Katy teaches extensively and, as Head of Singing for Sutton TheatreTrain, took her pupils to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011. Additionally she has worke d as a teaching assistant for Primary aged pupils with special educational needs.

Katy was a member of Yeovil Youth Theatre for 5 years, perf orming a number of roles as ensemble and lead. She has continued t o support the work of the company since training and was Assis tant Choreographer for their production of Footloose in 2009 and as part of the audition panel for their most recent production Grease 2013.

@katylye


Sammi Gardiner

I was unfortunately only able to perform in one show with YYT and that was Billy Elliot in 2011 and it was an amazing experience for me.

Not only did I get the role of 'Billy's Mum' and sang the song that made everyone cry (The Letter), but I was also able to perform this show with both my sisters, my cousin and some of my closest friends.

From the beginning of rehearsals, the cast was like an extended family and we were all so close by the time we performed Billy Elliot that I have made some very good friends who I will, no doubt, keep in touch with.

I have mainly been interested in dance throughout my life and I must say the highlight of Billy Elliot for me was starting the tap dance in the finale.

I couldn't be a part of YYT after Billy Elliot due to heading off to Southampton University where I am now studying Adult Nursing. I am finishing my second year at University leaving one year before I am a qualified nurse.

Alongside my nursing studies I have been involved in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Street and Bhangra Dance societies and I was voted in to be President of the Tap Dance Society during my second year, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

I chaired the organisation of our annual dance show involving 300 dancers and 31 unique acts - a lot of organisation and stress but it was well worth it. I have also just been elected to be the Dance representative on the Performing Art s Committee, which makes me in charge of all 10 dance societies here at my University. Maybe I will be the next YYT choreographer - who knows!!

I have missed YYT since moving to Southampton, and I was especially gutted that I missed out on performing in CATS, which consisted of a whole load of dance!

Even though I was only involved with YYT for a year, it was a great experience for me and I will always pop back from University to watch the performances of new shows. Miss being on stage!!

Sammi Gardiner


Thom Ford

Before leaving for London in 2006 Thom studied performing arts at Yeovil College and performed with all the local dramatic societies. Notably in 2006 winning the David Beach Award for best performance from an Under 21 in Somerset for his turn as Fagin in Yeovil Youth Theatre's production of Oliver in 2006.

Thom graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2009. Since then he starred in BBC Drama 'Inside Men' and numerous fringe theatre pieces.

It is in the comedy industry Thom has had the most success, forming the country's leading musical sketch comedy group Four Screw Loose. The 'Screws' have had four sell out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before hugely successful runs at London's Soho Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre. The Screws have also performed at some of the country's biggest music festivals including Bestival, have been heard on BBC Radio 1 and most recently they have performed in the Seychelles and have just returned from a Sell Out run at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia.

Even though the Screws are now regarded as an 'International Act' some of their biggest fans and favourite audiences can be found in Yeovil.

Thom is looking forward to coming back to his hometown and to be reunited with some old friends to raise money for a great cause.

@thom_ford @FourScrewsLoose


Vikki Rolley

I was honoured to be a part of Yeovil youth theatre for five shows: Footloose (Wendy-Jo), Our House (Angie), Billy Elliot (Mrs Wilkinson), Cats (Demeter), and A Midsummer Nights Dream (Snout)

Being a part of Yeovil Youth theatre helped to boost my confidence and my skills in performing. I met some truly special people and I enjoyed every second of my time at YYT.

YYT is like a family; we all become so close and you meet people that become incredibly close friends. Rehearsals are focused, hard work and disciplined, but I've had some of my funniest experiences at the gateway on a Tuesday or Thursday night. Not only are we close, but we put on exceptional shows. I'm so proud of all the shows I was a part of, in particular Billy Elliot. We were lucky enough to take part in the Billy youth theatre regional showcase, and I was over the moon to see two of my closest friends perform at the west end showcase. This show was also close to my heart as I played one of my dream parts and was lucky enough to win the SFD award for best youth female under 21 for my performance as Mrs Wilkinson.

Having trained at the University of Chichester for three years, I graduated in October 2016 with a first class degree in Musical Theatre. Whilst at University, I performed in ‘Peter Pan’, played the role of Mae in a touring production of ‘The Pajama Game’ and performed in Musical Revue ‘Starting Here, Starting Now’ under the musical direction of Julian Kelly.

I moved back to her hometown of Crewkerne here in Somerset and became an adult by buying a house and two cats with my boyfriend!

Whilst back in Somerset, I continue to perform by singing in care homes in the local area and other events with a hope to expand my business, performing at weddings and parties. Alongside performing, I also teaches various dance classes at The Dance House in Crewkerne, including adult tap, pre-school ballet, and street dance, and also teaches singing and dancing at Razzmataz in Yeovil.

I believe the experiences I had at YYT prepared me for a career in performing and will always have fond memories of YYT and the people I met and worked with.

I will always value my memories and I thank YYT for their ongoing support. Without them I would not be where I am today. I will be forever grateful.

Vikki


Will Poulton

Alan and Will are long standing supporters and ex members of Yeovil Youth Theatre. Between them have been involved in many of our major productions as ensemble and leads in Les Mis, Our Day Out, Fame, High School Musical, Footloose, Oliver and The Addams Family.

Outside YYT they have performed with Yeovil Operatic Society, Yeovil Musical Theatre Company and Yeovil College in West Side Story, Godspell, Guys and Dolls, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, The Wizard of Oz and Jesus Christ Superstar.

In November 2015 Alan and Will founded Beatnik Theatre Company, a not-for-profit company with the primary aim to bring something a little bit different to Yeovil’s theatre scene. After a year of fundraising (with more to come) the company is growing and their first major production, ‘Avenue Q’, will premier at Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre in June 2018 - the first time this popular puppet musical will be performed in Yeovil. 

“It’s because of the skill, hard work and dedication of those at YYT that we’ve felt able to launch a new theatre company here in Yeovil. We’re looking forward to the future where we hope to be able to cast some of the excellent talent coming up through YYT in our productions. Locally, there is no better training ground for budding young actors than Yeovil Youth Theatre”.

Facebook – beatnikofficial
Twitter - @beatniktheatre
www.beatniktheatre.co.uk