Youth theatre make the world their stage

On May 6 and 7 next the Backstage Youth Theatre will present ‘The world is our stage’, a unique production that showcases the talents and skills of many of the group’s sixty members.

On May 6 and 7 next the Backstage Youth Theatre will present ‘The world is our stage’, a unique production that showcases the talents and skills of many of the group’s sixty members.

The performance consists of a one act play followed by a series of music based numbers. The play is called ‘A year and a day’ and is directed by Backstage Youth Theatre’s Paul Higgins.

“The play is a colourful one and is written by Christine Matthews who comes from Belfast,” said Paul speaking to the Leader.

“It concerns two tribes that live on opposite sides of the river. They speak different languages and have leaders who threaten them with hell and damnation should they talk to one another.

“It sounds very serious but it is actually colourful and bright.

“There are creatures in it too who act as intermediaries between the tribes. There is also a love story built in and it is between a member of each tribe.”

Because Matthews has lived her life in Belfast, it is clear that this work is inspired by the troubles which pervailed in Northern Ireland.

“She herself has said that catholics and protestants in Northern Ireland grew up being told the same things about one another. For instance, they were told that there was only one religion,” said Paul.

‘A year and a day’ is not, however, based in Belfast but rather it is set in a fantasy world that consists solely of these two tribes and their intermediaries.

With fourteen speaking parts and an additional 12 tribal members, this production is set to be a busy one. Paul Higgins agrees.

“The purpose of this performance is to showcase the talents and skills of our members. After the one act play, the second half of the show will focus upon music and dance and this will bring forward even more members of the group,” he said.

“We want to give everyone an opportunity to show their talent - and there’s a lot of it!”

Some of the performances in the second half will include dance sets choreographed by Denise Waters.

The Backstage Youth Theatre recently finished their annual pantomine in January of this year.

“We have been rehearsing for this (The world is our stage) for two months now,” said Paul Higgins. “This has been a busy year for the group, but a rewarding one.”

According to Paul, being a part of the Backstage Youth Theatre is a character building exercise for many of its members.

“It takes confidence to get up there and these guys have it in abundance. It’s a real pleasure to be working with them and this is our best year yet for membership,” he said.

The Backstage Youth Theatre’s production ‘The world is our stage’ will take place in the Backstage Theatre from Friday May 6 to Saturday May 7 at 8pm. For further information, please visit www.backstage.ie.