I am writing a short write up about my life after YMT because I feel it is important that this organisation understands the impact they can have on a young boy's life.
Before my YMT years I was a very shy and scared young boy. I was too worried about the thoughts of others and hid my love for performing from the world. I have met some amazing people during my years with YMT, some of which are touring in musicals and others who are ruling the pop charts. I always wanted to pursue my own career in the arts but with a very low opinion on myself, I could never imagine my face on those who lived their lives on stage!
Walking away from YMT I found a different spirit and almost a different person was created. I had the courage and determination to follow my dreams and audition for schools overseas in England that would morph me into the artistic and talented person that I always wanted to be. I know this all sounds super cheesy but YMT really did create the present and future I always wanted.
I no longer feared being a failure, as I learnt for every failure there is a lesson to be learnt that actually built a stronger performer within me. Thanks to YMT I graduated from LCM and Italia Conti, two schools of which I am very proud to have been training in. The career that has been created was on to only my imagination but then became reality. Modelling in front of cameras for Christmas Campaigns and taking part in a foreign advertisement as a dancer on set. I never saw myself as a traveller, however, returning from Mallorca as a Lead Sing and Lead Dancer in four separate shows ignited a flare to see the world and learn cultures while living my dream as a PROFESSIONAL singer, actor and dancer.
My dreams were reached when I got to travel to America and the Bahamas as a Lead Singer and Dancer in a Rock and Roll show (88keys) and a Disco Show (Studio VIP). Working with the most talented cast I had ever worked with, becoming a sort of family we all were star stuck as we trained in puppeteering with the stars of Sesame Street and leading actors from Broadway.
In my heart of hearts I know it is all the support and chances that all the founders and everyone unseen in the YMT family, directors and choreographers that helped me see that I could have the life I wanted, and that I was good enough. I look forward to auditioning and fighting for a place in the WEST END and because of all of you I believe I can get there.
Many Many Thanks, Ciarán Butler.
Ciarán was in YMT's productions of Oh! Carol (2007) and The Chosen Room (2008 and 2009).
Win a pair of top-price tickets to the smash-hit musical!
It’s Billy’s birthday! On Tuesday 12 May, Billy Elliot the Musical marks 10 years in the West End. One of the most celebrated, award-winning musicals on stage today, Billy Elliot has been dazzling London since 2005, and has gone on to captivate audiences around the world. Now we’re offering Youth Music Theatre UK members the chance to see the show in its 10th birthday year, with a pair of top price tickets up for grabs.
Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot the Musical is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Follow Billy’s journey as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever. With unforgettable music by Elton John, sensational dance and a powerful storyline, Billy Elliot the Musical is an astonishing theatrical experience will stay with you forever.
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
Billy Elliot joins a class specialising in what form of dance?
Ts&Cs: Prize valid for Monday – Thursday evening performances only. Tickets are subject to availability; non-transferable and exclusions apply. Blackout dates apply (12 May; 25 – 30 May). Travel costs are not included in this competition.
YMT moves into the Lyric Hammersmith!
We've been teasing you over the past week or so, and we can FINALLY announce that YMT has teamed up with the Lyric Hammersmith - one of the most prestigious and well-respected theatres in the UK.
Please note our new address:
YOUTH MUSIC THEATRE UK
We've moved into the stunning Reuben Foundation Wing - a £20 million redevelopment plan that sees the Lyric Hammersmith become a cultural hub for young people in West London. We're joining eight other brilliant organisations with YMT being the delivery partner for musical theatre (because that's our thaaaang!) Over the next few months we'll be running some incredible workshops on The Explore Programme in acting, singing and dancing as well as our inaugural Youth Music Theatre Orchestra concert with some very special guests!
We'll be announcing the full details of our programme, YMT @ The Lyric, very shortly and we're so thrilled and excited to be in partnership with all these incredible organisations!
Look at our lovely team!!
A fancy landing... very nice!
Hard at work (obviously) in our shiny new office!
***** (5 stars)
Shaftesbury Theatre, London - Thursday 23 October, 2014
Memphis is the story of the birth of rock 'n' roll, and a tale of two people trying to achieve their dreams set against the backdrop of 50s America and the brutal segregation of that time.
The show opens with a high-octane rip-roaring song and dance number that sets the tone for the entire piece abd this high energy remains throughout, only subverted during the more sombre, delicate moments, which are handled expertly by the performers. The show also uses some clever devices most notably a sliding skateboard to remove singers when the radio dial is changed during the department store scene.
Beverley Knight is incredible as Felicia; her vocal range and ability are as good, if not better as anyone I've seen in the West Eend... Yes, she is a recording artist but she is also without question a true leading lady. Killian Donnelly is also exquisite as the rebellious tour de force that is Huey Calhoun. Playing the role with all the charisma and punch that it so desperately requires.
The choreography is strong, the dancing breathtaking and the band is incredible. Other standout performers are Jason Pennycooke (Bobby) and Tyrone Huntley (Gator) who offer truly flawless performances that made me both laugh and cry.
The piece gives a candid representation of the division and hardship that was evident during that period in history and the writing, direction and delivery handle and serve it impeccably.
Whether you love the blues or not (and who doesn't?) all in all this is a show I would implore you to see. It received a rapturous standing ovation and never has it been so richly deserved.
Memphis is currently playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London. Book now: http://www.memphisthemusical.com/
**** (4 Stars)
Shaftesbury Theatre, London - Thursday 23 October, 2014
There was an air of excitement and expectation at the opening night of Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre and the London Premier did not disappoint.
Set in 1950s southern America in an era of racial hatred, segregation and violence, Memphis follows the story of a small-time DJ, Huey Calhoun, and his dream to share black music with his radio listeners. “White people won’t listen to black music” was the protestation from radio station owner, Mr Simmons. But of course, station ratings go through the roof as the catchy rock and roll music transcends racial divides.
Stunning harmonies, infectious rhythms and fantastic choreography are executed with skill and style. The eagerly-anticipated performance from Beverly Knight does not disappoint. Knight’s heartfelt portrayal of the conflicted star-singer Felicia Farrell is notable, fortifying and enriching with her breath-taking vocals. Killian Donnelly also gives a standout performance as the loveable rogue with charming quirkiness and offbeat comedy.
Not only a quality piece of West End entertainment, Memphis is rich with socio-political history and does not shy away from the horrific acts and injustices of the time. At times, the message of racial harmony is preaching to a converted cosmopolitan London audience, nevertheless, the song "Say A Prayer", which brought a close to Act One certainly made me sit up and listen. Huey and Felicia have been attacked by white mob for their interracial relationship, and in the chaotic aftermath, Gator (Tyrone Huntley) - a young man, mute since his father was lynched - breaks his silence with a beautiful message. "Say a prayer that change will come" resonated with the ongoing racial, religious and sexual discrimination that still troubles human-kind in modern times.
Far from the many juke-box musicals that crowd out the West End, Memphis is full of original hits, vibrant choreography and a story that will hook you from start to finish.
Memphis is currently showing at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London - tickets can be booked here: http://www.memphisthemusical.com/