ACORN ANTIQUES, The Musical!
Written by Victoria Wood
Broadlands School, Keynsham
Tuesday 30 October – Saturday 3 November 2012
The award-winning Keynsham Youth Theatre brings its 20th anniversary year to a close with a hilarious all-singing, all-dancing, fully-overalled and rubber-gloved new production of Victoria Wood’s cult classic, Acorn Antiques!
Based on Wood’s much loved spoof soap opera of the 1980s, Acorn Antiques follows the lives and loves of the staff of an antiques shop in Manchesterford – a frantic tale of love triangles, amnesiacs, hidden wills, siblings reunited and at least one song about macaroons, all centred around one of her best-loved creations, the doddery Mrs. Overall.
Full of Victoria Wood’s trademark comedy and observational songs, Acorn Antiques was a West End hit in 2005, and continued to tour the UK in 2006. Over the last few years, KYT have developed a reputation for producing more modern and obscure musicals, with highly-acclaimed productions of The Wedding Singer, The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose andHonk! to their credit, alongside more established classics such as West Side Story and Guys and Dolls. This production marks Acorn Antiques’ youth premiere – the first youth company performance since it was released for amateur performance last year.
KYT Director Graeme Savage explains “Victoria Wood has been a comedy legend for 25 years or more, and her script has been a joy to work with – hilarious characters, surreal situations dealt with in an everyday manner and of course, some of her finest comic songs. The cast have really enjoyed getting to grips with an out-and-out comedy, but at the same time having to be very disciplined to make sure that the deliberate mistakes work. Some of the timing of the gags has to be precise down to the last millisecond, and that’s been quite a challenge, but enormous fun! And as we’ve found over the last few years, it’s always rewarding to be one of the first companies to do a particular show, as it takes away so much pressure from the young company. To be hosting the youth premiere of Victoria Wood’s show, especially as she herself was discovered on a talent show (New Faces in 1976) seemed a really fitting end to our 20th anniversary celebrations.”
Keynsham Youth Theatre have been celebrating their 20 year anniversary throughout 2012, with a highly acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls in April, and a reunion attended by more than 100 past and present members and supporters in June. In the last 20 years, they have grown from a group of children who appeared with the senior company (Keynsham Light Operatic Group), to a well-respected company in their own right. As well as producing two full scale musicals each year, the group, featuring young people from all across Bath & North East Somerset performs at prestigious events such as the Christmas Eve Champagne Gala at Bath’s Royal Crescent Hotel, Keynsham’s Music Festival and Victorian Evenings, and in 2007 were invited to perform at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London (home to Phantom of the Opera) for a youth theatre gala performance. In 2010, they were awarded with the NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Award for Excellence for their production of The Drowsy Chaperone, and the NODA President’s Excellence in Youth Theatre award for Footloose.
The group meets at Broadlands School every Tuesday evening, and is open to young people from across B&NES aged 12-21. There is a waiting list in operation as demand for places is so high, and new members are taken on twice a year. Full details can be found at www.keynshamyouththeatre.com
After Acorn Antiques, KYTs next production will be Our House, the musical based on the songs of Madness, in March 2013.