THE DECENT ROGUES, Broadlands Academy, 9 – 12 April 2014.
Keynsham’s award-winning youth theatre company, Keynsham Youth Theatre, is putting the finishing touches to their next and final production – the national youth premiere of new musical The Decent Rogues which is presented at Broadlands Academy this Easter.
Set in the fictional Edwardian village of Horston Barrow, The Decent Rogues is an intriguing romantic comedy, written by local writers Dan Lashbrook and Rob Pratt. It focusses on the exploits of two seemingly respectable businessmen who, once a year, don the disguise of ‘The Decent Rogues’ to commit one crime, a Robin Hood-esque caper which shames a local dignitary and gives back to the poor in the village. As they decide that it’s time for one final escapade, they plan their most daring plot yet, which goes horribly wrong…
A delightful homage to Gilbert & Sullivan with some darker undertones, The Decent Rogues won the NODA Award for Best Musical Production in 2011, and went on to a sell-out run at London’s Bridewell Theatre the following summer, where it was listed in Time Out’s Top Ten Musicals.
Writer Dan Lashbrook says “Rob and I are thrilled to see that The Decent Rogues is going to be performed again, and that Keynsham Youth Theatre are finding new life and energy in our characters and music. Since the performances at the Bridewell Theatre, we’ve had the two-piano score fully orchestrated by the highly respected Pete Readman (who worked on the music for the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony), so we’re unbelievably excited about hearing our score played live by an 11-piece orchestra for the very first time”.
Sadly, The Decent Rogues will also be Keynsham Youth Theatre’s final production, bringing to a close their 22 year history. The group’s director and chairman, Graeme Savage explains –
“For a variety of reasons – some financial, some social, some economic – we’ve had to come to the difficult decision that the group is no longer in a position to be able to offer the quality of experience and production that we have developed a reputation for in the last few years. Despite some generous support from The Great Western Round Table and Keynsham Town Council, rising costs and the current economic climate are making it very difficult to keep the group going as a viable proposition, without drastically impacting on the standards that we strive to, and feel that the young people involved in KYTs deserve. Added to that, reduced demand through dwindling membership and audience numbers, and the changing personal circumstances of many involved with the group have all had an impact on finding the many committed volunteers essential to keep KYTS going.
“We have though taken the decision to be positive, and rather than let the group limp along and fade away, we should use this final production to celebrate all that KYTs has achieved in the last 22 years, and we’re delighted that we are able to do this by being the first amateur company in the country to be given permission to present this award-winning new musical. We have to accept that this is a relatively expensive hobby, but with groups like Bath Dance College, Bath Academy of Musical Theatre and others providing excellent support for youngsters looking to pursue a serious career in the arts; with Fry’s Pantomime thriving, Keyford Dance School still performing locally, and smaller independent drama societies forming regularly, we are sure that the young people of Keynsham will still be well served with opportunities to perform.”
Keynsham Youth Theatre was established in 1992, and for the last 20 years has been producing two musical productions each year. In addition, the group has regularly been involved with local events, including performing at the Keynsham Music Festival, and for the last 8 years has entertained guests at the Royal Crescent Hotel’s exclusive Christmas Eve Reception. In 2010, KYT won the National Operatic and Dramatic Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for The Drowsy Chaperone, and in 2007 was invited to perform at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London (the home of Phantom of the Opera) in a gala for youth theatre companies.
THE DECENT ROGUES is at Broadlands Academy from Wednesday 9th – Saturday 12th April, with performances each evening at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £8 and are on sale now from the Box Office on 01761 414957 or can be booked online at www.kyt.ticketsource.co.uk