Guildhall Arts Centre welcomes new in-house youth drama group in Grantham
The Guildhall Arts Centre in Grantham has welcomed a new in-house youth drama group.
New Youth Theatre, which runs musical theatre classes for youngsters of all ages, has been invited to hold its weekly classes and rehearsals at the arts centre.
Since launching in Grantham nine years ago, the group has given thousands of young people across Grantham a unique experience of being on-stage and performing to a live audience.
Despite the music, performing and visual arts being among the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic, the theatre group managed to keep going via Zoom lessons and social distanced rehearsals.
Yvette Kimber launched the group in 2012 and now regularly teaches up to 200 children a week.
But when the UK went into a national lockdown just days before the theatre group were due to perform The Sound of Music at the Guildhall in March 2020, rehearsals came to an abrupt end.
Yvette said: “It was absolutely gutting as we had to stop classes for six months, but then it was a case of how do we carry on? We had to really think outside the box.
“That was when the Guildhall got in touch and offered us the opportunity to hold our classes at the theatre but in smaller groups. They were so helpful. It was a struggle at times with Covid restrictions banning singing, but it was just lovely to see the children again. We had to film the shows rather than perform them in front of an audience, but it’s all new skills that we have picked up along the way.
“It’s been a difficult year as we’ve had to adapt and change while adhering to all the restrictions, but the children could see that we were still pushing on no matter what and I think that is a very important message for them to learn from all of this.”
The group will now continue to hold their weekly classes at the Guildhall.
After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Drama, Yvette worked professionally as an actor and facilitator with Rhubarb Theatre Company, appearing in a number of their touring productions notably ‘Paperwings’, ‘Betty & Bert’s Big Day Out!’ and ‘The Flying Flapper’, before joining New Youth Theatre as a director in 2012.
After falling in love with the NYT concept and the children, she took ownership of Grantham centre. Yvette added: “We now see the Guildhall as our new home.”
The group will start rehearsing for its next show ‘Matilda’ next month and is currently taking on new students.
For more information, visit www.newyouththeatre.co.uk/grantham/