Youth Music Theatre
This August, YMT will be embarking on an ambitious new project, a cutting-edge musical experience investigating the changing face of womanhood and gender expectations in the 21st century - Miss Interpreted.
For some thoughts on that state of equality within the arts we turn to Joss Whedon, American screenwriter and director.
He is best known for his trademark fantasy/sci-fi series’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, as well as the outlandish mini-series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Additionally Whedon co-wrote Pixar’s Toy Story and the meta-horror flick The Cabin in the Woods.
Most recently he has directed the critically acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing following mere days after completing his most extravagant project to date The Avengers Assemble, the third highest-grossing film of all time.
Whedon’s career has been epitomized by his razor-whited dialogue, homicidal treatment of beloved characters and the abundance of “strong” roles he writes for women.
In a 2006 speech for the organisation Equality Now, Whedon addressed the question he had been asked more than any other, a question that has come to define his work over the last two decades. He gives an abridged account of the various responses he has found himself giving to this repetitive inquiry:
“Why do you always write these strong women characters?”
“I think it's because of my mother. She really was an extraordinary,
inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman. And that's the kind of woman I've always surrounded myself with”
“Why do you write these strong women characters?”
“Because of my father. My father and my step-father had a lot do with it, because they prized wit and resolve in the women they were with, above all things, and they were among the rare men who understood that recognising somebody else's power does not diminish your own”
“So, why do you write these strong women characters?”
Well, because these stories give people strength, and I've heard it from a number of people, and I've felt it myself.
“Why do you write these strong women characters?”
Cause they're hot.
“But these strong women characters…”
“Why are you even asking me this?
How is it possible that this is even a question? Honestly? Seriously? Why did you write that down? Why aren't you asking a hundred other guys why they don't write strong women characters?”
“So... why do you write these strong women characters?”
Interview 50 Continued:
“Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it.
We need equality. Kinda now"
“So, why do you write these strong female characters?”
“Because you're still asking me that question”
Like Joss we at YMT believe that the art the theatre community creates can reflect the inequality we accept, and we should never stop uncovering and questioning that.
To watch Joss Whedon’s unabridged speech Click Here!
Saturday 16 August 2014 - 7:30pm to Sunday 17 August 2014 - 2:30pm
Halifax: Square Chapel.
Ankh-Morpork, the Discworld’s most notorious town is steeped in decadent squalor, with a corrosive aroma that would put most landfills to shame.
This is the setting of YMT’s stage adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s side-splitting novel, Soul Music. The town is the prime destination on the Disc, where many intrepid explorers go to seek fame and other people’s fortunes.
Enter Imp Y Celyn (literally translated ‘bud of the holly’) and his ensemble ‘The Band with Rocks In’ who begin taking the city by sonic storm. Soon a host of new bands spring up:
• We're Certainly Dwarfs (They Might Be Giants)
• The Whom (The Who)
• Lead Balloon (Led Zeppelin)
• Insanity (Madness)
• The Surreptitious Fabric (The Velvet Underground)
The city reverberates with the sound of tortured strings and the smashing of Stratocasters.
In tribute to Pratchett’s infamous Ankh-Morpork, YMT helps you decide which musical town is right for you. Leave behind the rain and rising rent; move to a city where there’s music in the air.
The smoke blackened spires of a grim Victorian London where murderous butchers and bakers stalk the streets.
• Gothic ambience
• Several specialist eateries
• Good standards of grooming amongst remaining city residents
• Cat abductions on the rise
• High rate of shaving related deaths
• Not suitable for vegetarians
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A small snow clad town encircling a mysterious factory; a sweet scent hangs in the air promising hidden delights behind firmly locked gates.
• Rapidly expanding confection industry
• Generous employers
• Everlasting gobstoppers
• Industrial candy floss fogs
• Oompa Loompa stag parties
• Absurd dentistry bills
Prohibition era America. A city awash with bootleg booze, controlled by sparring mobsters with a penchant for pie.
• Classy speakeasies
• Discounted pies
• Mob wars
• High dry cleaning bills
• Not suitable for lactose intolerant residents
A glamorous metropolis where fame, fornication and murder go hand in hand.
• Stylish prison inmates
• Killer cabarets
• You’re only ever one shot away from stardom
• Murderous lovers
• Corrupt courtrooms
• Another captivating killing might lose you your limelight
The Wizard of Oz
An enchanted land filled to the brim with technicolor characters and strange, fantastical creatures.
• Well-maintained highways
• Excellent standard of hygiene (courtesy of munchkin spa)
• You’re the tallest person in town
• Evil witches
• Farmhouse related injuries
• Flying monkey infestations
It’s a difficult decision, so before you make the move come visit YMT in musical Ankh-Morpork this August!
Thursday, 28 August 2014 - 7:30pm to Sunday, 31 August 2014 - 7:30pm
Rose Theatre Kingston
In its 10th year Youth Music Theatre UK has prepared an explosive summer season of groundbreaking international work in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Strap in as we give you the breakdown of the shows, merchandise and competitions you can expect to see appearing over the next few weeks!
Follow our new Instagram channel to get sneak peek into the rehearsals of our upcoming shows, a unique insight into the creative workings of YMT and the inevitable office selfies.
Follow us here! http://instagram.com/ymtuk
Over the next few weeks we’ll be running regular competitions where YMT members will have the chance to win exclusive merchandise, goodie bags and theatre tickets.
We will also be launching our ‘7 Second Musical’ challenge! Where we’ll be seeking out the smartest, funniest or maddest way to tell the story of a popular musical in 7 seconds. More information to follow soon!
We’ve got a brand new range of YMT hoodies, T-shirts, badges and much more for you to get your hands on!
Summer Season 2014
23 Jul 2014 to 26 Jul 2014, Belfast: Lyric Theatre
This July the thumping sound of Drum ‘n’ Bass cascades down the corridors of Dunsinane. An ominous beat reverberates through the dank fog of YMT's dystopian reimagining of Shakespeare's perennial horror story Macbeth.
Utilising Garth McConaghie’s fierce electric score alongside Stuart Harvey accomplished direction, the young cast bring a new twisted take on the things that could conceivably go bump in the night.
31 Jul 2014 to 01 Aug 2014, Aberdeen: The Lemon Tree
Harvest Fire ignites an explosive fusion between the spectacular energy of America's Burning Man Festival and Scotland's own harvest celebrations. Within this vibrant collision of traditions the boundaries between death and re-birth are tested with visual relish.
Harvest Fire is a crackling new work created by director Lewis Barfoot as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.
15 Aug 2014 to 16 Aug 2014, Plymouth: Barbican Theatre
The Dance Connection is a vibrant devised performance, combining breathtaking choreography, mesmerising movement and immersive vocal soundscapes. The score steps light-footedly between captivating classics to pace-pumping pop, with the invigorating infusions of Gaelic song and jazz.
All these elements are intertwined to create an intricate and spectacular tapestry of movement and sound not to be missed.
15 Aug 2014 to 16 Aug 2014, Belfast: The MAC
The first of YMT's new Triptych Programme, commissioning new work from young female composers, Triptych (2014) gives young performers from YMT auditions the chance to work with some of the most exciting and innovative emerging composers in the UK and from abroad.
The programme brings together three emergent female composers from around the world. The template for this groundbreaking new work comes from the poems of one Northern Island's foremost female writers, Sinéad Morrissey.
16 Aug 2014 to 17 Aug 2014, Halifax: Square Chapel
This is a chance for young women to experiment with cutting-edge musical theatre, devise new work and explore what it means to reach womanhood in the 21st century.
23 Aug 2014 to 24 Aug 2014, Berkshire: South Hill Park Arts Centre
Launching a major international collaboration, YMT will be developing the stage version of the international bestselling book Ali & Nino. The story remains a testament to the strength of love in a war-torn world.
The performance will be a multilingual maelstrom of Georgian polyphonic singing and Persian mugham. Performed by a talented international cast; this promises to be one of YMT’s most ambitious projects to date.
28 Aug 2014 to 31 Aug 2014, Kingston: Rose Theatre
A new, dangerously addictive music has entered Discworld! Performer Imp Y Celyn (literally translated as ‘bud of the holly’) finds himself the unwitting poster boy for this intoxicating trend. We follow Imp and his eclectic ensemble through their glamorous yet short lived musical career, as they attempt to harness the new ‘Music With Rocks In’.
Directed by Luke Sheppard, (Associate Director RSC's Matilda), adapted by stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle with original music from WhatsOnStage Award-nominee Craig Adams (LIFT, Thérèse Raquin), and choreographed by Off West End Award-winner Cressida Carré (Titanic).
29 Aug 2014 to 30 Aug 2014, Plymouth: Barbican Theatre
In Geraldine McCaughrean’s award-winning tale a frighteningly zealous and single-minded Noah, battles against the apocalyptic elements. Family conflicts, stowaways and rogue reptiles combine to craft a captivating storm-forged story bound to leave you gasping for air.
We hope to see you all there!
1. A person who creates a fake online profile in order to fraudulently seduce someone.
2. A freshwater or marine fish with whisker-like barbels round the mouth.
Online you can be anyone... You meet someone. They’re attractive and funny. They seem to just get you. This could be IT. You talk all the time and it feels like you may have met the one…
In YMT’s new adaptation, Catfish! The Musical the young cast explores the idea of falling in love with someone who never really existed…
But for a moment, look back. Back through the mists of time to the pre-Facebook world… Back to 1998. A simpler time. A year of presidential impeachments, frozen water discovered on the moon and The Enemy of the State feature film…
A sinister agency conspires to track down an unwitting Will Smith for crimes committed against the government. The insidious agents set about tapping phones, planting tracking devices and stealing our protagonist’s blender amongst other things. And no one gets between Will and his morning smoothie.
Of course back in '98 it took a dedicated ten-man task force with access to state-of-the-art equipment to track down and pinch people’s kitchen appliances. But as the Buzzfeed team show us on their YouTube channel, nowadays in order to find someone’s location, personal information and fast food preferences, all you need is a few nerds in a van with a laptop…
A new weapon in the war against the internet fraudsters? A new way to catch your catfish? Maybe. Just be sure to check your back next time you Instagram your lunch, in case someone will soon be lurking behind you with a big net…
The only time YMT recommend you to tweet your location is after you watch Catfish! The Musical at the Lyric Hammersmith this month!
Two performances only!
Saturday 26 April at 4.00pm and 8.00pm.