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Break a Leg

By Project Archive

More than 120 young people joined Nik Ashton the Director and Jonathan Gill the Musical Director to put on a programme of song and dance.

The young people taking part worked with Workshop Leaders including Caroline Sheen (Mary in Mary Poppins, and Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

Also helping for the four day theatre experience was Richard Dempsey, Jonny Fines and Carly Anderson, all of whom have extensive West End experience.

Last year many of PYT’s older members came along to help out, happy to ‘give something back’ and work with the younger ones.

In the Spotlight

By Project Archive

During the week of the Easter Holiday project, more than 170 young people aged from 5 years to 16 years, got together over a period of 4 days to rehearse music and dance with a performance at the end of the week.

These young people were joined by theatre professionals with West End experience who worked with them offering mentoring and guidance.

This was a true community project, with volunteer help from parents, friends and supporters providing chaperoning, staging, lighting, sound, catering and costuming.


Visiting professions this year were: Ashley Day, Joseph Pitcher, Laura Pitt-Pulford and Pippa Raine.

In the Spotlight was directed by Nik Ashton with Charlotte Alldridge directing First Steps (the youngest performers) and Jill Farrow as Musical Director.

Lights Up

By Project Archive

This was the thirteenth year of our popular Easter Holiday Project. 130 young people from school year 4+ and 52 young people from school years 1 – 3, both members and non-members, took part in workshops.

Lights Up! culminated in two performances directed by Nik Ashton and Debbie Baty with Jill Farrow as Musical Director.

Workshop leaders were James Bisp, Sophie-Louise Dann, Joseph Pitcher, Alison Pargeter and Joseph Pitcher.

Bedales School Quad has become an integral part of this project offering a wonderful rehearsal and performance space for this annual community project.

Treading the Boards

By Project Archive

This year’s Easter Project featured more than 200 young people taking part in a week of workshops culminating in performances to family and friends.

Once again previous PYT members worked behind the scenes and as facilitators alongside theatre professionals.

Dominic Tighe returned to work with PYT and was joined by David McGranaghan, Laura Pitt-Pulford and Pippa Raine.

Treading the Boards was directed by Nik Ashton, with Dean Austin as Musical Director assisted by Benjamin Gudgeon. Debbie Baty directed the younger members ‘First Steps’ and Darren Reeves was musical director for their performance.


On with the Show

By Project Archive

Another year – another exciting Easter Workshop with 145 young people enjoying four days of working with professionals. ‘On With the Show’ featured some popular numbers from best loved musical shows.

Nik Ashton, PYT Artistic Director, directed the Workshop Challenge, with Jonathan Gill as Music Director, and Darren Fawthrop, Anna Lowe, Alison Pargeter and Dominic Tighe working with the young people as workshop leaders.


Parents, friends, supporters and older PYT members also supported the project.

Two performances to an audience of family and friends at the end of the week, showed just how much can be achieved in such a short time.

Curtain Up

By Project Archive

The PYT Easter holiday project was devised in 1998 as a way of encouraging young people, who are not necessarily members of PYT to engage with theatre professionals, whilst working towards a performance at the end of the four days.

Over the past 10 years, hundreds of youngsters have experienced the joy of musical theatre alongside talented actors who regularly perform in London’s West End.

This year Caroline Sheen, Stefan Butler, Alison Pargeter and Joseph Pitcher worked with the cast to perform a popular selection of song and dance numbers. Curtain Up! was directed by Nik Ashton, with Jonathan Gill as Musical Director.


By Project Archive

Following on from last year’s popular Easter Project, Put it Together, 160 young people took part in this year’s challenge.

Working with professional performers, Mark McGee, Mark Oxtoby, Alison Pargeter and Caroline Sheen they developed the theme of song and dance from musical theatre. All these performers appear regularly on the West End Stage, and their professionalism brings an extra dimension to the project.

Nik Ashton directed and was assisted by senior PYT members, Charlotte Alldridge, Michael Auger, Tom Bristow and Laura Jefferies.

Put it Together

By Project Archive

Young people from Petersfield and the surrounding areas came together for four days of workshops led by young theatre and music professionals.

The workshops culminated in a presentation based on musical theatre and featuring a colourful mix of song and dance.

Scenes from Annie, Mary Poppins and Oliver! were performed, and for the first time, members of First Steps took part. For some of these very small children, this would have been their first every experience of live theatre.

Bugsy Malone

By Project Archive

Easter Holidays 2005 and Petersfield Youth Theatre was to be found once again at Bedales School, this time with professional performers acting as leaders, taking individual groups of young people for workshops, with the aim of putting on a production of Bugsy Malone in just 4 days.

Director Nik Ashton worked with Musical Director Jonathan Gill and workshop leaders Caroline Sheen, Michael Jibson, Edwin Ray and Charlotte Alldridge.


bugsy_malone_2The part of Bugsy was taken by Jordan Murphy who said that he had the most fun since joining the youth theatre. 130 young people took part in this project which was open to both members and non members of PYT.

Both the set and costumes were made on site by willing supporters within the four days, to provide a colourful and spectacular performance with plenty of glitz from Fat Sam’s Grand Slam and splurge from Dandy Dan’s Gang.

Bugsy Malone was the seventh Easter Holiday project which each year provides many young people with their first theatrical experience, often sewing the seeds for long lasting enthusiasm for musical theatre.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Project Archive

Five years after PYT’s first Easter Holiday Project, this enduring musical once again provided the challenge for 125 young people, supported by professional actors and musicians.

PYT’s Director of Education, Debbie Baty directed and choreographed the production, assisted by Kay Shepherd, who teaches dance at Laine Theatre Arts and the Royal Ballet School.


The lead roles were taken by Robert Miller (Joseph), Louise Dearman (Narrator) and Steven Paling (Pharoah). The Musical Director was John Pearson, assisted by Jonathan Gill and Ruth Paton was responsible for set design.

PYT’s hallmark of originality came to the fore with Ishmaelites in leather jackets on scooters, Potiphar with laptop and Joseph on gold rollerblades.

Many of the older members and friends of the youth theatre worked on sound, stage management, props and costumes and two performances were staged for friends and family on the last day.

© 2022 Petersfield Youth Theatre.