The young performers of York Light Youth return to the stage of Joseph Rowntree Theatre at the beginning of November to bring you an exciting production that is rarely staged in York: ‘Barnum’. The show traces the career of Phineas Taylor Barnum, America’s greatest showman, ‘The Prince of Humbug’, from 1835 to 1881, the year he joined with James A Bailey to form The Greatest Show on Earth. It’s a colourful and dynamic spectacle, full of energy and sparkle from start to finish.
York Light was the last amateur group to perform the show in the city in 1999 when Rory Mulvihill took the role of Barnum. 18 years later, the show returns with Finn East, 18, who has been a regular performer with York Light since 2013, taking on the role of Barnum. Among the cast of thirty-two 11 to 18-year-olds are many familiar faces from previous YLY productions along with a good number of newcomers. Amelia Cook, Anita in last year’s ‘West Side Story’, plays Barnum’s wife Chairy with Ellie Melvin taking on the role of her ‘rival’ Jenny Lind, ‘The Swedish Nightingale’. Jack Porter returns as The Ringmaster, Nathan Christy plays Tom Thumb and Lucy Scruton is Joice Heth, ‘the oldest woman in the world’.
Building on the success of ‘West Side Story’, Hilary Dyson and John Atkin return as Director and Musical Director, working with Hayley Patrick-Copeland, now choreographing her fourth production for the group, on this challenging piece of musical theatre. As well as learning their lines, the music and the choreography, the cast have had been busy learning circus skills with the Jugglesoc from the University of York, Matt Yates from the Lunar Circus, Australia and Jen Parry, a hoop and aerial teacher from York.
Don’t miss what we are convinced will be one of the most colourful and exciting events in musical theatre in York this year. The show runs from Friday 3rd November to Saturday 11th November at The Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Haxby Road, York. Performances start at 7.30pm with matinees on the two Saturdays at 2.30pm. Tickets are available through the Joseph Rowntree Theatre Website www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk or JRT Box Office: 01904 501935.
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