YMT blog

Youth Music Theatre UK - Paperboy

The Reviews are in and Paperboy is a HIT!


This past weekend, Youth Music Theatre UK's musical adaptation of Tony Macaulay’s much-loved memoir hit the stage for the first time at the Lyric Theatre Belfast.  Paperboy truly brought Tony’s childhood to life. It’s 1975 and 12 year old Tony dutifully goes about his paper round.  Belfast in the seventies is like the newspaper he delivers: everything is black and white, albeit orange and green.  There are bombings on the evening news, but he’s more interested in Doctor Who, the Bay City Rollers, outer space, and of course, the girl of his dreams: Sharon Burgess!

Comedian, Andrew Doyle, and Belfast singer-songwriter Duke Special perfectly combined narrative comedy with atmospheric music that nostalgicly takes you back in time, drawing you into Tony’s world.  Directors Steven Dexter and Dean Johnson briliantly brought young Tony’s thoughts, feelings and life overall into fruition.


Sold Out Shows Followed by Glowing Reviews

'West End transfer shouldn’t be out of the question for Paperboy'   (Irish News)

'There's no mistaking quality when you see it and Sam Gibson as Paperboy Tony is a revelation. Amazing stage presence, terrific voice - he's the real deal. Like any good paperboy, he delivers.' (Belfast Telegraph)

'A lot of plays have been written from the perspective of different sides of the conflict. Few adequately explore people who chose to walk the middle line, discovering and questionging all traditions.  Paperboy remails very true to Tony Macaulay’s history of peace building.' (Alan in Belfast)

'There is a line a minute to bring a smile to your face.'  (Culture Hub)

'Charming and Imaginative.' (The Stage)

The audience was swept along by our lovable paperboy Tony Macaulay  (Belfast Times)

Twitter Was Absolutely Buzzing After the Show!

'Having read @tonymacaulay's #Paperboy I was keen to see how it would translate to the @LyricBelfast stage. @DukeSpecial & @andrewdoyle_com have done a superb job, and the young @ymtuk cast were excellent. Took me back to my own youth & perfectly captured the era. 1st class show.' - @CrAm723

I laughed out loud, I shed a tear. How brilliant to be able to take my own son to see my childhood brought to life. #paperboy by @tonymacaulay and the fantastic talented cast from @ymtuk Wonderful show. - @IanWoodsSky

Absolutely loved #paperboy at the @LyricBelfast! So funny and full of our wonderful Belfast humour. Lots of emotion and poignancy too. Big fan of the book so was amazing to see it brought to life. Script and music were brilliant. Lovely to speak to @tonymacaulay after too! - @_mels13

Absolutely loved, laughed, clapped, cheered and nearly cried just once #PaperBoy @ymtuk @LyricBelfast a must see! - @SuzanneLea2


A Winter's Tale: A Fresh New Take on Shakespeare's Classic


 ‘In this tale, we see the potential young people have to change the world’ Director, Bronagh Lagan

A Winter’s Tale, playing at Rose Theatre Kingston from Aug 30 – 2 Sep, is a brand new musical fusing the essence of the Shakespearean classic with the genius of writer Nick Stimson, and composer Howard Goodall CBE.

What is A Winter’s Tale About?

This production breathes new life into what we think we know about Shakespeare’s original play. Music, by Emmy, BRIT and BAFTA award winning composer, Howard Goodall CBE, adds a whole new layer of emotion as it shifts the tone from dark, brooding passions, to sunshine and redemption.

This musical re-imagining of the play plots the tale of a despotic ruler’s jealousy spiralling dangerously out of control, of it consequences and betrayals but also, ultimately, of love, loyalty and redemption.  A Winter’s Tale is a celebration of young people and how they may repair the damage of the broken world they inherit.  It bursts with humour and song and, after some anger and turmoil, basks in the golden sun of a summer shore.

The Creatives speak ahead of the production saying…

"I am absolutely thrilled that YMT UK are bringing A Winter's Tale to The Rose Theatre Kingston (my local theatre). This story about the redemptive power of young people could not be more relevant to the world of 2018. Spoiler: Love Wins!"  -Howard Goodall CBE, Composer

“Really looking forward to making a start on Howard Goodall's epic score with this fabulous cast and creative team, it’s going to be a terrific piece of theatre.” -Greg Arrowsmith, Musical Director

We also caught up with some of the incredibly talented Cast members…

“It’s brilliant to be performing in a musical combining Shakespeare and Howard Goodall! The show is going to be fantastic, I can’t wait to get stuck into rehearsals!” -Rory M.

“Really looking forward to an amazing production with YMT and some amazingly talented people. I’m excited to be working with such a fantastic cast and creative team who have a wonderful vision for A Winter’s Tale” -Victoria S.

Casting Week…

The cast and creatives are ahead of the game and have already begun working on the production during casting week!  We have some fantastic photos and an epic trailer that gives you an idea of what this show is going to be all about!

Watch the trailer HERE!

Get your tickets to see this brilliant NEW musical HERE! It's not to be missed!

Just One Month Until YMT's 'Help! Get Me Out of This Musical' Hits the Stage!


‘Help! Get Me Out Of This Musical is a bonkers and funny love song to musical theatre’ says writer, John Nicholson

What is 'Help!' all about?

Playing at the South Hill Park Arts Centre, 10 – 12 August, the show’s electric music is loaded with the sounds and energy of any West End and Broadway classic, whilst bringing its own unique pizzazz!

Teenage life is full of its ups and downs, and hell-raiser Callum certainly makes sure of that. But one morning the ultimate school bully, wakes to find, to his growing horror, his entire world has been turned into a musical! Trapped, with no escape, in a world where people break into a song and dance routine at the slightest provocation, where no-one ever looks him in the eye because they're too busy turning out front!

Get your tickets HERE!

We caught up with the creatives ahead of the show...

‘The show is about a bully who finds himself in a world that has turned into a musical – it’s his worst nightmare. Everywhere around him people are singing in his face, dancing in his face – it’s like Stepford Wives meets La La Land, meets High School Musical’ – Musical Director, Adam Gerber.

“Working for YMT is a real treat for me. It’s an opportunity to work alongside some of the most ingenious and talented creatives in the business and with a supremely talented collection of young performers. And YMT shows never pull their punches!” –Writer, John Nicholson

“I’m thrilled to be joining YMT for the first time this summer. We have a fantastic cast and creative team and I can’t wait to get started!” –Choreographer, Julia Cave

Casting for Help!…

Casting week is when all of the cast and creatives get together to learn a bit of the music, movement and script and gives everyone a feel for the show!  While the young people are training hard, the creatives work to match up the actors with their roles.

Photos from the casting of 'Help! Get Me Out of This Musical'

At the casting for Help,we created a trailer all about the show complete with quotes from cast, creatives and shots of rehearsal. Check it out HERE!

Be sure to BOOK NOW to see this amazing BRAND NEW musical production!  You won't want to miss it!


Attending a YMT Summer Camp 'was the best decision I made!'


We caught up with Lottie to hear about her YMT experience of Summer Camps and Projects

This was the best decision I made!

My first experience with YMT was in 2015 when I auditioned for their summer season, it was my first time doing group auditions like that - I didn’t get in but decided to do one of their Summer Camp Courses instead. This was the best decision I made!

It was my first ever residential theatre course and it was absolutely amazing!  I met some amazing people and had a brilliant week, I learnt so much and feel that it led to a real ‘step change’ for me.

Each time I’ve been involved with YMT it’s got bigger and better

In 2017 I successfully auditioned and performed in YMT's Jabberwocky and that was even more amazing! Each time I’ve been involved with YMT it’s got bigger and better and I think that’s partly because I learn so much each time and get new opportunities!

To everyone who loves musical theatre

I’d recommend YMT to anyone who loves theatre and performing or putting a show together, to anyone who has a desire to work in the industry in the future, who wants to have a great time with like-minded people during the Summer holidays, to everyone who loves musical theatre (and is the right age!)”

Follow in the footsteps of Lottie and many other talented young people and book on to a Summer Camp today. Open to ANYONE aged 11-17, participants take part in an intense, fun, creative training course in the performing arts by putting on a brand new musical show within a week! This year, YMT’s Musical Theatre Summer Camps are coming to Hertfordshire, Leeds, Wiltshire, Edinburgh, Surrey and London. BOOK NOW WHILE SPACES LAST!

West End Leading Man George Rae joins creative team on YMT Boot Camp.


Youth Music Theatre UK has an unwavering reputation for creating the brightest new musical theatre projects and courses, led by trailblazing creative teams from West End, Fringe, Repertoire and Broadway theatre. And in the year of our 15th anniversary, this is no exception, especially in the case of our London Musical Theatre Boot Camp, taking place 13 – 18 August!

The YMT Musical Theatre Boot Camp comprises 60 hours of intensive tuition, rehearsals and masterclasses spread over a 6-day residential retreat, aimed to equip you with the unique skillset and knowledge needed to be competitive and to excel in the theatre industry. Whilst the course is beneficial for everyone, it is particularly beneficial for those interested in auditioning for drama school or conservatoire at undergraduate or postgraduate levels.  During this course, George Rae will be running several workshops that especially focus on the skill of acting through song.



George has an impressive background performing in popular West End shows and tours including The Frogs, The Lion King, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fame, A Slice of Saturday Night and The Mikado.  Not only has he performed in many notable shows, but has actually received recognition for his roles.  George gained three best actor award nominations for his portrayal of Otto Kringelein in Grand Hotel , received best supporting actor for his part in Noises Off, and was featured by Mark Shenton in his ‘The Best Leading Men in UK Musical Theatre’ list.

As an established performer, George’s experiences will make the Boot Camp extremely valuable for those who participate. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to explore different approaches to making new music theatre and cross arts developments, including styles used in physical theatre, mask and Commedia dell’arte, as well as traditional musical theatre and performance techniques.

There is still an opportunity to BOOK ON to the London Musical Theatre Boot Camp to train under George and other creatives, but be sure to book soon as spaces are limited!