HFC Youth Dance HFC Youth Theatre

Developing the next generation of Broadway and West End stars

Studio A on the ground floor of Falmouth University’s AMATA building may seem a long way from the bright lights of Broadway and London’s West End theatres. But, judging by the talent and enthusiasm of the young people taking part in Hall For Cornwall’s summer masterclasses, many of the young performers are planning to share the spotlight with today’s musical theatre stars in the future.

HFC is introducing new weekly Musical Monday musical theatre classes for young people aged between 7 and 21 from September. Ahead of this the Get Creative team offered young people the chance to take part in two special summer master classes.

Led by the creative team behind the Hall For Cornwall’s hugely successful homegrown trilogy of Christmas Shows: Simon Harvey, Richard Healey and Kim Moses, the masterclasses saw around 50 young people learn dialogue, songs and choreography direct from the West End and Broadway during the week long programme.

The first part of the week belonged to the juniors. Young performers between the ages of 7 and 13 spent two days practicing the Dentist from The Little Shop of Horrors and Revolting Children from Matilda, as well as learning the steps to one of the classic dances from the musical Hairspray and a song from the contemporary musical Dear Evan Hansen before taking part in a special sharing in front of their family and friends.

Among those taking part was 11 year old Gabriel who said it had been great fun.  “I enjoy acting and singing and so really wanted to join the masterclasses “he said.  12 year old Nell had originally been “encouraged” to join the class by her Mum but said she had had an amazing time and was so glad she had come along.

“ I like acting most of all but I have really enjoyed the singing and dancing too “ she said.  “Everyone has been very friendly and it was great to be able to show what we have learnt to our families “.

It was then the turn of the seniors to take to the stage, with the young people spending their three days learning songs, dances and dramatic scenes from the current west End hit Everyone’s Talking About Jamie; Honk the Musical, as well as Footloose; The Little Shop of Horrors and Sweet Charity.  The group also had the chance to share their newly acquired skills with family and friends at the end of their workshop sessions.

17 year old Marshall is currently studying drama at Truro College and is a huge fan of musical theatre.  “Some people may look down on musical theatre but it is actually more challenging than many other forms of theatre as you have to be able to act, sing and dance” he said. “I had an amazing time this week.

15 year old Jake is a member of HFC’s Youth Theatre group and has enjoyed the opportunity to rekindle his enthusiasm for dancing.  “I used to dance when I was younger but dropped it when my family moved “ he said.  “I want to be an actor but it is important to be able to sing and dance as well if you want a career in the theatre. “

13 year old Luka has always wanted to be an actor and joined the masterclass so he could gain as much all round experience as possible.  “If you want to perform in productions on Broadway and the West End you have to be able to sing and dance a well as act “ he said. “This week has been a great introduction to musical theatre and I have loved every minute.“

Musical theatre performer and choreographer Kim Moses, who has worked with professional companies both in the UK and around the world, is delighted with the success of the summer masterclasses.

“It has been fantastic to help young people in Cornwall explore the magic of musicals and develop the skills they need to perform on a West End stage “ she said. “I grew up watching MGM musicals and am really lucky to have had the chance to work with a number of top companies.

“HFC already has thriving youth dance and youth theatre groups and we are looking forward to adding musical theatre classes to our programme from September.  The young people taking part this week have really thrown themselves into the classes and it has been great to watch them develop their skills and confidence.

“We can’t wait to share our passion for musical theatre with a new generation of young people so please come and join us “.

The new weekly musical theatre classes will take place at AMATA on Monday evenings, starting on Monday 16th September. There will be two classes – one for juniors aged from 7 to 12 years beginning at 5.30pm and one for seniors aged 13 to 21 years  beginning at 7pm.  The fee is £100 per term.

HFC Youth Dance HFC Youth Theatre Theatre

June Update

Over the past few weeks we have been talking to members of the public about our transformation, and working with schools and community groups on a range of amazing dance and drama projects.

It was great to have the chance to talk to so many people about the progress of our project at the Royal Cornwall Show. There was so much passion and enthusiasm for Hall for Cornwall, with many people saying they were really missing us and can’t wait for the re-opening of our theatre next year. We share this enthusiasm and are looking forward to announcing details of the new programme.

Over the last ten years we have welcomed over 2 million people to the Hall including 100,000 young people and school groups. We also run a number of youth companies for young actors and dancers and are very proud of all the young people who form part of these groups.

This year some of our young performers have secured places at leading national drama and dance schools. There is intense competition for these places and we are delighted to have played a part in helping them on the journey to fulfilling their dreams.
Earlier this month 40 members of our youth theatre group performed at Trebah Gardens as part of Operation Neptune, a drama project organised as part of the events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D Day. We have also been working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and 99 pupils from Treviglas, Bodmin College, Brannel, and Humphry Davy secondary schools and Cubert, Delabole, and Tintagel primary schools as part of our RSC Associate Schools partnership. Each school performed a 10 minute piece from a Shakespeare play of their choosing based around the theme of “Heroes and Villains” at AMATA in Falmouth.

Last weekend Ned Ratcliffe, who won a place at the National Youth Dance Company in the Summer, performed with the company in Plymouth, and members of our Junior Dance company took to the stage at Sterts as part of the Midsummer Dance Festival.
If all this was not enough our Senior Youth Theatre group were chosen to perform at the National Theatre at the end of June as part of this year’s NT’s Connections festival. With just 10 youth theatre companies chosen to perform from the 273 groups and 6,500 talented young people from across the UK, this is an amazing achievement for our 25 young people who closed the nationwide festival on Saturday, 29 June with their performance of The Sad Club.

Future projects planned for July include “taking over” Illogan School as part of a week long drama project; working with Nancledra School on a dance piece to be  performed at Geevor, and developing plans for a story telling event with KEAP and The Story Republic which will involve four schools and two community groups working together to create newspapers and stories.

Julien Boast : HFC Chief Executive and Creative Director

Associate Artists HFC Youth Dance HFC Youth Theatre Live Performance Redevelopment Project Resident Companies

Supporting Artists and the Arts

Supporting Artists and the Arts

by Julien Boast, HFC CEO & Creative Director

Although the theatre is now closed to the public for our exciting and ambitious redevelopment project, our Arts Development team are still very much open for business, continuing to support professional artists and working with schools and young people to bring arts to local communities across Cornwall. Thanks to support from the Arts Council, Cornwall Council and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, our Arts Development work spans the entire county with opportunities created for individuals to perform and create in diverse theatre spaces including care homes, schools and colleges, village halls, museums, galleries and gardens.

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy. The team have attended the Royal Shakespeare Company Play Making Festival with students from Treviglas, Brannel, Redruth, Humphry Davy, Liskeard & Callington schools performing on the RSC’s main stage; delivered workshops for youngsters from Pondhu and St Breward primary schools and held “end of term” pop up and performance events for our Youth Dance and Theatre Companies at The Burrell Theatre and Perranporth Beach.

As we reflect back on the last 6 months, highlights have included work on 26 Creation Space projects, week long residencies in 17 local venues allowing professional artists to develop and test new work and the staging of Nick Darke’s ‘Hell’s Mouth’ by members of the HFC Youth Theatre, which was critically acclaimed as ‘THE BEST YOUTH THEATRE SHOW EVER SEEN’. Many of the young people taking part in this production have been members of our Youth Theatre for many years, using the opportunity and experience gained with us as a spring board for working with other professional companies or indeed pursuing a career in the arts. This year’s graduation cohort has seen 8 young people go on to either drama or dance schools or studying performance at a higher level.

Talent Development of professional artists is a key focus for us with the team offering mentoring support and encouraging artists to reflect on the work they have done in the past and talk about what they would like to accomplish going forward. Over the last six months, we have supported 160 artists through one to one sessions including our Associate Artists, such as Jethro Compton who is currently The Little Princess in Vienna and Emily Dobson who recently worked as choreographer on WildWorks’ 100: UnEarth at The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Whilst we continue to prepare our building to hand over to the building team, the Arts Development team will be working tirelessly across the community to ensure that the power of performance can continue to inspire, educate and be enjoyed. Coming to an unusual performance space near you soon……