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Summer Youth Project 2021; the Nicest Kids In Town bring back live theatre with Hairspray Jr.

This time last week, the atmosphere in The Rose Theatre at Barton Peveril College was electric with 25 excited young performers (and two Light UP leaders!) clad in colourful 60’s gear, ready to take to the stage in Light UP’s 2021 Summer Youth Project, Hairspray Jr.

After an exhilarating 2 weeks rehearsing, singing, dancing and memorising lines our incredible cast were ready to perform to their audience. They had prepared for two performances on the 13th of August at 2.30pm and 7.00pm; 44 friends, family and theatre enthusiasts came to the matinee. Audience members described the performance as being “full of energy” and “really enjoyable”.

That energy was tripled at the evening show, watched by an audience of 109 musical theatre lovers!

When we asked the cast members what they enjoyed the most about the Summer Youth Project, the consensus was undoubtedly the fact that they could act, sing and perform in a group again after a long wait. The cast's performance backgrounds ranged from theatre debutants, to seasoned school play performers, to Light UP class veterans, with an age range of 7 - 17. It was wonderful to see them working together, making new friends and supporting each other as they sang “you can’t stop the beat!” in unison.

The Light UP team were incredibly excited to see so many people attending the two shows. After a difficult 18 months and having all fingers and toes crossed that the Summer Youth Project could run, it was emotional to see the cast on stage and having the best time doing what they love. Our Directors, Courtney Fayle and Katy Eyre worked tirelessly to get the kids back on stage and feeling great about their achievements. At the end of the evening performance, the cast called both teachers on to the stage to thank them for their hard work and support over the previous 2 weeks.

Light UP’s Summer Youth Project is an annual event. After the audition process, participants spend two intensive weeks rehearsing. The professionally staged performances at the end of the project are a testament of what can be achieved in such a short space of time with hard work, enthusiasm and fun. This year was no exception. Past Summer Youth Projects have featured performances of other beloved musicals, such as Chicago: High School Edition which was our inaugural SYP production. Next year will be double the drama when Light UP goes ‘back to school’ producing not 1 but 2 productions of popular shows, Matilda Jr. and High School Musical. Dates will be announced soon followed by an opportunity to take advantage of our early bird savings for those that are ready to jump into action and get booked on. To hear all the latest UPdates, you can register your interest in SYP 2022 here:

The atmosphere at Barton Peveril was one of joy and pride. It goes without saying that we just can’t wait until we can do it all again next year! You can see a gallery of photos from the performances on The Daily Echo here


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