Ryt members Attend a Workshop by Professional Actor Mark Cronfield

On the 29th of April some of our middle and senior members worked with talented actor Mark Cronfield on a workshop based on Homers Odyssey.

Mark’s professional credits include The National Theatre, TV’s Brookside and extensive tours with many theatre company’s including our local, talented North Country Theatre. We are thankful to Mark for delivering such a fantastic workshop and to Councillor Karin Sedgwick and North Yorkshire County Council for providing our young people with full funding for this project.


Ryt Members go on Tour with the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

Two of ryt senior mentors are currently touring venues across Richmondshire with the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team (SMRT).  ‘The Shout’ was written by Pete Roe who is a member of the SMRT to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the organisation. It is a humorous and poignant story of everyday mountain rescue folk.   Pete contacted ryt looking for two young people to take part in the production and we were glad to help.  This will be a great experience for our members and ryt are very proud to support the SMRT.




Fight School Workshops

Our Leyburn and Richmond middle and senior members have taken part in workshops to enable them to develop basic stage fighting skills.   Sam Hedges, our fight school director focused on the use of swords and shields during performance.

Sam was a training officer with Historia Normannis, a Medieval Reenactment Group and  has directed fight scenes for many of our productions, including The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (adapted by Ken Ludwig) and Troy 24 by David Calcutt, both  at the Georgian Theatre Royal.   20180211_155847

   ryts Fight School Director Sam Hedges with Historia Normannis. 

Junior ryt Members Decorate a Christmas Tree for a local Tree Festival

Our junior members have worked hard making theatre themed decorations to cover the ryt Christmas tree for the Richmond Methodist Church 2017 Christmas Tree Festival.    Our costume maker Gillian Shaw also made lots of theatre masks, jesters and ryt drummer boys to place on the tree.   The festival was opened to the public by the mayor of Richmond, Councillor Stuart Parsons on 1st December.


RYT Members Perform to a Sell out Town Hall and the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire

Our Richmond Seniors were hosted by the Mayor of Richmond Councillor Stuart Parsons on 18th November, as they proudly performed in front of Mr Barry Dodd the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire at Richmond Town Hall.  The event, to support the Mayoral Charities, was fully sold out and a great evenings entertainment was had by all.  The evening began with the final performance of our successful touring production to raise awareness of dementia called  ‘We are Such Stuff as Memories are Made on’  by our past pupils Christopher Smallman and Cordelia Stevenson and our current pupils Ben Clarke and Thomas Chandler.  After the interval we were treated to a lively version of ‘The Drummer Boy’ by our past pupil Thomas Mann, which had the audience laughing out loud with delight.   The Lord Lieutenant addressed the audience at the end of both performances saying  “This evening is something I will never forget.  A wonderful evening in a wonderful building”.  He went on to say “The play about dementia is stunning”.

Congratulations to both casts and thank you to the fantastic volunteers from RYT and Richmond Town Hall, SW Productions and Antony McFarland from the Alzheimer’s Society  for your hard work and support.


RYT Leyburn Seniors become Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends

facebook_1507814269152Antony McFarland, the Dementia Support Worker from the Alzheimer’s Society at Garget Walker House, visited our Leyburn Seniors recently in his role as a Dementia Friends Champion. Antony gave a very informative talk about dementia and its impact on people, families and the community.   He spoke about how we can all support people to live well with dementia. The group are now proud to be Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends.   RYT will be performing  ‘We are Such Stuff as Memories are Made On’  for a final time at Richmond Town Hall on 18th on November in support of the Mayoral Charity.   This production, by RYT’s past and present pupils, recently toured across Richmondshire to raise awareness of The Friends of Garget Walker House, a local charity that supports those in our community affected by Dementia.   Tickets for the performance on 18th November are available now from Richmond Town Hall.

RYT Receive a Public Endorsement

received_10213753389139775The Darlington and Stockton Times recently run a story about our past pupil and volunteer Cordelia Stevenson.   Cordelia who has returned from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her theatre company Silent Faces, told the Darlington and Stockton Times that “Youth Theatre does preach, teach or lecture, but nurtures”.    Describing her experience as a youth theatre pupil, under the tuition of Sue and Tracey, Cordelia said of youth theatre “It is not a theatre school, but far more important and necessary than that, using theatre as a starting point to really reach and connect with youngsters, nurturing their talent and nurturing them as young people”.   We are very proud of Cordelia, who’s show ‘Follow Suit’ gained four-star ratings from several major reviewers including the Stage and the Scotsman.

 RYT Perform an Evening of Theatre to Support the Mayoral Charities – 18th November 2017 



Richmond Town Council Crest copy (1)

Richmond Town Council Presents
‘We are Such Stuff as Memories are Made On’ by Christopher Smallman, Cordelia Stevenson, Ben Clarke, Thomas Chandler
and ‘The Drummer Boy’ by Thomas Mann
In Support of the Mayoral Charities
TICKETS – £15.00 Including Buffet – From Richmond Town Council


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RYT Celebrate a successful first season at the ‘One Night Only Festival – 1st July 2017

FB_IMG_1500582076768RYT members joined together to perform at Richmond School,  in our first ever ‘One Night Only Festival’ on 1st July.   We celebrated our first successful season by performing three of our self wrote plays ‘Fanatic’, We are Such stuff as Memories are Made On’ and ‘The Drummer Boy’.  We also shared some songs from our musical production ‘Olivia’ (with kind permission from Music Line Publications).   Councillor Linda Curran said ‘It has been amazing touring with RYT this season to raise awareness of The Friends of Garget Walker House.   Tonight I was impressed at the wide variety of different production styles that RYT have staged  in their first season and feel I have made a whole new group of friends”. 20170701_170227‘The Drummer Boy’ by Past Pupil Thomas Mann (in memory of Mr Roy Black) 

20170701_152006‘Fanatic’ by Past Pupil Ben Lacey 

RYT Perform Olivia at Richmond School – 17th June 201720170616_185204

On a very hot day in June our Leyburn and Richmond Middle and Junior members joined together, with the support of our Senior Mentors to perform the musical production ‘Olivia’ by Malcolm Sircom (with kind permission from Music Line Publications).   Councilor Stuart Parsons, Mayor of Richmond said “I had a wonderful evening. ‘Olivia’ is a gem of a play and the performances were all fantastic.”       20170619_144446


RYT Perform at the Richmond Meet – 29th May 2017

RYT Monday Seniors had great fun performing in the Friary Gardens at the Richmond Meet on Whit Monday.  We performed ‘The Drummer Boy’ by our past pupil Thomas Mann (dedicated to Mr Roy Black) and ‘The Miners of Led’ by our pupil Thomas Chandler.  Both plays were well received  by the happy but very wet audience who had come out to support us, despite the ongoing rain. Thank you all.   The highlight of the day was the improvised pre- performance Zumba warm up!  Well done to our cast and volunteers who, despite the horrid weather, made the day such fantastic fun and one we will never forget.

RYT Members, Past Pupils and Volunteers Attend Councilor Stuart Parsons Mayor Making Meeting  – 22nd May 2017


RYT members, Past Pupils and Volunteers were invited to attend Councilor Stuart Parsons Mayor Making Meeting at Richmond Town Hall on 22nd May.  During his Mayor Making Speech Stuart Parsons referred to the group of RYT young people saying “RYT have recently started a district wide tour of their dementia awareness production ‘We are Such Stuff as Memories are Made On’. The play was written by them, devised by them and performed by them and is playing to sell out audiences. They are a shinning example of the brilliance of youth and a reminder also that our futures are in safe hands. They also serve an additional purpose in that they keep me sane and completely grounded”. RYT wish to congratulate Mayor Parsons and thank him for allowing our young people to ‘keep him sane and grounded’ especially as he volunteers to drive them across Richmondshire takings them to performance venues!

Our tour of ‘We Are Such Stuff as Memories are Made On’ begins and receives a  Standing Ovation – 29th April 2017 


We have performed the opening night of our touring production “We are Such Stuff as Memories are Made on” to fantastic reviews and a standing ovation from a delighted audience in Richmond Town Hall.    Through practical drama workshops, research and a Dementia Friends information session provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, Richmond Youth Theatre members inspired the the story of Henry who is a fan of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Henry is facing his own personal tempest because he is affected by dementia.  To write this play we turned to the talents of our Past pupils Christopher Smallman and Cordelia Stevenson who worked together with some of our current pupils to created this clever and thought provoking piece of theatre.

The event was hosted by the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Russell Lord and the Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr. Peter Scrope.  Peter commented “The opening night was amazing.  The cast were absolutely fantastic.  They were given a standing ovation.  Their performance left the audience with tears in their eyes”.

This project is in association with The Friends of Garget Walker House, a charity that supports those affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and was funded by North Yorkshire County Councils Stronger Communities.

There will be another five performances throughout May and June. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for under eighteen’s (£10 and £5 respectively for the final performance which includes a buffet). Tickets can be purchased by calling Linda Curran 07875 567984 or Richmondshire Youth Theatre 07709 870861

The remaining five events are:

May 13th, 7.30pm Walker Memorial Hall, Aldbrough St John

May 19th, 7.30pm, Colburn Village Hall

May 20th, 7.30pm, Booth memorial Hall, Catterick Village

June 10th, 7.30pm, The National School Hawes

June 24th, 7.30pm. The Oak Room, Thornbrough Hall, Leyburn

 Councilor Linda Curran Presents the annual RYT Awards  – February 2017            RYT Award winners Feb 2017

Thank you to Councilor Linda Curran who presented the RYT awards for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Youth Theatre’ on Saturday 11th March. Congratulations to all who received an award. We also would like to thank every member of our mentoring team and our volunteers for working so hard to support our young people.  We really couldn’t do it without you all. Thanks also to Councilor Stuart Parsons who joined us.


Congratulations to our past pupil Samuel Robinson

Samuel will soon go on tour with the Baroque Theatre Company as their Stage Manager.  He has been very busy working on many theatre projects since graduating  from University, were he studied Drama, including working with The Pleasance at Edinburgh and Islington.    (see Samuel’s testimony on our Past Pupil Page).


Past Pupil Samantha Bottle is proud to have a her own RYT hoodie

The RYT Hoodie has arrived in London and being worn by our past pupil Samantha Bottle.  Samantha Co Directed ‘Olivia’ ten years ago with Sue and is excited to see that RYT will be  performing the musical  on 17th June 2017, at Richmond Schools Clarke Hall.  Samantha said “I can’t wait to see the show and I will be wearing my Hoodie with pride”. If you would like a RYT Hoodie or T-Shirt contact Tracey or Sue who will be placing another order next half term.

Tickets for ‘Olivia’ will be available soon. 

RYT’s first production ‘Fanatic’ wins the Adjudicators Cup at the Georgian Theatre Royal One Act Play Festival – February 2017


RYT Tutor Tracey Lacey with past pupils Ben Lacey and Cordelia Stevenson 

RYT under the name ‘Mutton Chops Youth Theatre’ took to the stage of the Georgian Theatre Royal for its annual One Act Play Festival on 2nd February, with the premier performance of Fanatic, written Ben Lacey.    Ben, who is a past pupil, spent the last five months working alongside our  Leyburn Seniors to create the piece and he also directed the cast.   Fanatic tells the story of two local science fiction stores that are in competition with each other and it considers the political polarisation that takes aim at extremism and fanaticism.

This was our first production under the banner of RYT and we are so proud that it was awarded the Adjudicators Cup for “It’s Original Script” in the festival.  Two of our actors were also nominated for awards: Best Supporting Actress for Grace Morris, playing the part of Zoe, and Best Actor for Joe Burke, playing the part of Luke.

Ben said “This project was a fantastic opportunity and I am very proud of each member of this cast. They really inspired my writing”  We would like to thank Ben and everyone who supported and took part in the project, including our past pupil Cordelia Stevenson for her lighting design and technical support and Mickey Portlock who wrote all the music and sounds for the production.

Our young people wearing their new RYT Hoodies and T-Shirts – 30th January 2017

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At the request of our young people,  RYT Hoodies and T-Shirts are now available to our members.  The logo was designed by our talented past pupil Lucy Taylor and it looks great embroidered onto the clothing.   See Tracey and Sue if you wish to place an order.

The Benson Blair Family have sent RYT a Christmas Present – 23rd December 2016


The children and young people of RYT would like to send their many thanks to the Benson Blair family for their kind gift of three trophy’s.  The trophy’s will be awarded each year to our members for ‘Outstanding Achievement’ at Youth Theatre. We would like to send Christmas wishes and a massive thank you to the Benson Blair’s for this wonderful gift of support for our young people.

Photo  – Some of RYT members receiving the trophy’s on behalf of all our Young People



The Garget Walker House Day Care Centre Project – 19th November 2016


Photo – Antony McFarland with the cast of the Garget Walker House Project.

Supported by  Councillor Linda Curran and the Friends of Garget Walker House, Richmondshire Youth Theatre are to perform in venues across Richmondshire, with a play that will help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the work of Garget Walker House Day Care Centre in Richmond.

The play will be written by Chris Smallman, a past pupil and volunteer at RYT.  Chris has an interest in issues of Alzheimer’s and was eager to support this project. Antony McFarland, a Dementia support worker from the Alzheimer’s Society visited us this week as a Dementia Friends Champion and gave a talk to the cast about dementia and its impact on people, families and the community.   Antony stressed many positive ways people with dementia can be supported to live well.  The cast are now proud to be Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends.


Photo – Writer Chris Smallman with Antony McFarland from the Alzheimer’s Society

Councillor Stuart Parsons orders his own Richmondshire Youth Theatre  Hoodie -19th November 2016

Due to popular demand from our young people, we now have RYT Hoodies and T-Shirts and Councillor Stuart Parsons was the first to order a Hoodie saying “I am delighted to support a youth theatre that does such great work with young people”.  We are very grateful to Stuart for his support of our work with young people across Richmondshire.  The Logo was designed by our talented past pupil Lucy Taylor.  Order forms are available from Tracey  or Sue.


Photo – Richmondshire Youth Tutors Tracey Lacey and Sue Hedges with Councillor Stuart Parsons

                                                                                                                                                                            Our First six weeks have been a great success  – 21st October 2016

 Photo – Tom Mann with his Script     thomas-man

Its been a fantastic first half term for Richmondshire Youth Theatre.  Workshops are thriving and our members have begun working on lots of exciting new projects that will underpin our performances for 2017.  Again we have been supported by our fantastic mentors and our able team of volunteers including Gillian Shaw ‘Nannie’ who is already busy sewing costumes!  Past  pupils, Tom Mann (See Photo) Ben Lacey and Chris Smallman, have been busy writing scripts (full details to follow asap) and Sammie Hedges has been organizing our collection of props.   Thanks must also go to the many members of our community (far to many to mention here) for your warm welcome and your offers of help and support.   We could not have achieved all this without the talent of our past pupil Lucy Taylor, who masterminded our public image by designing our Logo, web page, flyers and our Banner.


Above – Our fantastic banner, designed by our tallented past pupil Lucy Taylor

Ben Lacey Moving our Window – 29th September 2016

The “Rain on me window” is now safely in the Richmondshire Youth Theatre store. Many thanks to Ben for moving it on the windiest day of the year.  And massive congratulations goes to Ben for achieving his Masters Degree in Writing for Stage and Broadcasting Media from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Councillor Parsons Supports Us  – Monday 12th September 2016


Above – Councillor Stuart Parsons with Tracey Lacey

We were very grateful to Councillor Stuart Parsons, who came out to support us this morning as we hung our new banner up in Richmond.  Councillor Parsons said

“At long last young people throughout Richmondshire will have the chance to work with these two brilliant tutors!

Sue and Tracey provide a supportive environment so that young people can grow and develop their skills in a safe, fun and exciting environment using the performing arts as their starting (and finishing) point.”

Production Planning Meeting – Monday 12th September 2016


Above – Steven Woolmer of SW Productions with Tracey and Sue

This morning we had our first production planing meeting  with Steven Woolmer the owner/manager of SW Productions.   Sue and Tracey have worked with Steven in the past on many projects and were eager to gain his support and advice, as they considers their first seasons production requirements.  Tracey said “It is exciting to hear Steven describe the many ways his company can support our young members to create fresh and exciting theatre.   We are lucky to be able to find a local company with such skills”.

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