Lowestoft theatre expands its outreach work with new Play in a Week workshop

The Marina Theatre's youth theatre group. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The Marina Theatre's youth theatre group. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Young people are being given the chance to take part in a series of theatre workshops as part of a Lowestoft theatre's outreach project.

The Marina Theatre's youth theatre group. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The Marina Theatre's youth theatre group. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

In the space of six months, a range of new initiatives, theatre sessions, youth theatre groups, school workshops and community based activities have been introduced at the Marina Theatre – led by the theatre's head of young people and outreach Will Isgrove.

More than 150 people attended the Marina's first free family open day in February, with 120 youngsters taking part in the various school holiday activities.

And now, as the project continues to expand, future theatre stars are being encouraged to take control of their first ever Play in a Week.

Between August 14 and 18, young people are being invited in to the theatre to form a performance and production team, led by experienced theatre professionals, who will combine to create a unique version of Treasure Island.

The Next Stagers drama group. Picture: Marina Theatre.

The Next Stagers drama group. Picture: Marina Theatre. - Credit: Archant

This classic tale of adventure on the high seas, packed with pirates, buried treasure and heroic deeds will be brought to life in the Marina's 771-seat theatre.

People can learn new acting techniques, create weird and wonderful characters and design props, costumes, set pieces and sounds.

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The workshop costs £100 for the week, and places can be booked via the box office.

Since the start of the year, the theatre has also introduced three new youth theatre groups with 45 members now meeting on a weekly basis

Sessions run every Saturday morning during term time for youngsters aged between nine and 12, and 13 and 16.

The youth theatre covers a variety of performance styles and genres, from musical theatre to improvisation via Shakespeare and creative writing, as well as technical theatre skills.

A youth theatre class for ages five to eight also takes place every Monday evening from 5pm to 6pm.

There are a handful of spaces still available in all three groups, and new members are welcome to join in September.

And it's not just young people who are making the most of the theatre, The Next Stagers, a weekly over 50s drama group, is going from strength to strength.

Members have worked with specialists in Shakespeare, physical theatre, clowning and more. They meet every Wednesday from 10.30am to noon.

The group is designed to give members a chance to meet and discuss theatre and arts subjects, read plays and even rehearse and stage them.

Mr Isgrove said: 'We've come a long way in a short space of time, it's great to meet and work with so many different groups and people. There's so much we hope to achieve in the future and are always looking for feedback and suggestions for where we can go next.'

To find out more about any of the groups, call 01502 533200 or visit www.marinatheatre.co.uk

Summer activities

The Marina Theatre will be running a number of free activities in its café during the summer holidays.

From magic to music, storytelling to board games, there will be something for everyone each Tuesday throughout August. The events are supported by the Suffolk County Council locality fund, and will start at 11am each week.

More details are available on the theatre's website and there is no need to book.

And on Wednesday, August 9, from 10am until 4pm, an event for the whole community is being staged with The Play's the Thing: Understanding Shakespeare.

Join Shakespeare expert Simon Bridge for a day unravelling the mysteries of the Bard, celebrating his strengths and making him that bit more accessible.

Spaces are limited to 22 people, so booking is essential.

The same evening there will be a screening of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus at 7pm, which is included in the £20 price and aimed at over 18s.