Paperboy Cast Announced in Belfast

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Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) the leading music theatre company for young people, announces the cast for their brand-new musical adaptation of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy, to be performed at Lyric Theatre Belfast 26-29 July. The cast includes 35 talented performers aged 11-19 years, including 19 aspiring performers from the Island of Ireland, 9 from Scotland and 7 from England.

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Paperboy is produced and commissioned by Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) and presented in association with Lyric Theatre Belfast and commissioned with funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland.

Adapted from Tony Macaulay’s internationally acclaimed memoir, Paperboy tells the story of Tony, a 12-year-old boy, growing up against the gritty backdrop of 1970s Belfast. Creative duo, writer-comedian Andrew Doyle and Belfast singer-songwriter Duke Special, have captured in the making of the musical a vivid tapestry of Belfast and Tony’s world – one full of Rock Music, Doctor Who and youthful energy – recreating the vibrancy, comic timing and sense of discovery that is so enjoyed in the memoir. Directors Steven Dexter and Dean Johnson have been working closely with the cast to develop a feel for the era.

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Rehearsals began on the 9th July and the production will come together in just three weeks. Young people were selected by Youth Music Theatre UK from their national auditions tour earlier this year, where over 1,000 young people auditioned across the UK and Ireland to join the company. Special auditions were held on Shankill Road to draw in young people from the local area where the book is set. Auditions were also held on the Falls Road.

Young Tony (Paperboy) and his girlfriend Sharon are to be played by Sam Gibson from Killinchy, Co. Down and Erin Ryder from Laghey, Co. Donegal.

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Author of paperboy, Tony Macaulay said:

“I’m excited to see Paperboy on stage at the Lyric. I can’t wait to see and hear how Duke Special and Andrew Doyle have adapted the book into a musical. I expect I’ll feel quite emotional the first time I see the talented cast of young people performing my story on stage.”

Jon Bromwich, Executive Producer Youth Music Theatre UK, added:

 “Youth Music Theatre UK has trained and nurtured over 8000 up-and-coming young performers, musicians and creatives, and produced over 80 new musical works of the highest quality. Our prestigious alumni includes Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. Sam took part in our 2007 production in Belfast. This year we are delighted to present the extraordinary new musical production of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy, from a top-flight creative team, as part of our 15th anniversary season.”

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Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added:

The Arts Council is delighted to support this production of Paperboy  at the Lyric Theatre through National Lottery funding.  It is vitally important that young people here are given opportunities to broaden their creative experiences and, to perform on the stage of the Lyric Theatre will be an experience that stays with them throughout their lives.  Youth Music Theatre UK has assembled an impressive creative team and I would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy.”

The YMT Company of 2018 is made up of 300 talented young performers and musicians. YMT offers young people the opportunity to work with exciting composers, established directors and innovative movement specialists, developing the music theatre of the future. YMT’s aim is the personal and creative development of young people through the creation and performance of music theatre. Paperboy continues Youth Music Theatre UK and Lyric Theatre Belfast’s successful partnership.

For booking details visit Lyric Theatre Belfast Ticket Booking Link: https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/event/paperboy  and for details on Youth Music Theatre UK: http://www.youthmusictheatreuk.org

Paperboy – The Musical!

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Pictured from left are Peter Wilson aka Duke Special, Will McKee Campbell College, past Participant in the production, Tony Macaulay, author of Paper Boy and Jon Bromwich, Executive Producer. Picture by Brian Morrison.

Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT), the leading UK music theatre company for young people, that has helped shape the careers of many, including Brit Award winner Ed Sheeran and Grammy Award nominee Sam Smith, is producing a brand-new musical adaptation of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy.

Renowned director Steven Dexter, along with co-director Dean Johnson and choreographer Jennifer Rooney, who both hail from Northern Ireland, will be joined by Belfast-born, platinum-selling singer songwriter Duke Special and Derry born stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle to bring Tony Macaulay’s much-loved memoir to life. Following YMT’s hugely successful 2017 musical adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels, this rich creative team will come back together again at Lyric Theatre Belfast, continuing Youth Music Theatre UK and Lyric Theatre Belfast’s successful partnership.

The wide popularity of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy has led to its success across the world; the book has been published in the UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Platinum-selling, singer-songwriter Duke Special (Songs from the Deep) has composed music for a huge variety of projects including Deborah Warner’s critically acclaimed Mother Courage and her Children (Brecht) at The National Theatre, and a series of commissioned songs for the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, and for YMT Gulliver’s Travels.

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Youth Music Theatre UK’s Executive Producer, Jon Bromwich, said “Paperboy is a flagship show of Youth Music Theatre UK’s 2018 summer season, and it’s also our 15th anniversary season, so a very special one. ”

The production will be performed at the Lyric Theatre Belfast from 26-29 July 2018. Tickets are available here. 

 

 

 

 

Youth Drama Project, Capitulate, Opens in Northern Ireland

Together Stronger Aims to Break Down Walls of Prejudice

Capitulate, product of the youth drama project Together Stronger will open in Northern Ireland on Saturday, February 15th, 2014. Formed by a partnership between 174 Trust, Youth Action Northern Ireland, and author and peace builder Tony Macaulay, the project was created as a means for teenagers to make their voices heard among their community, while also giving them an opportunity to learn and develop devising, rehearsal and performance skills. Two performances of the drama will run at the Duncairn Centre for Arts and Culture and Youth Action NI in College Square North.

The objective of the drama project was to create an issue-based piece of theatre focused on sectarianism, centered around the union flag dispute that arose in late 2012 and led to widespread protests and unrest.

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The program allows youth to provoke debate in their communities in regards to division, prejudice and stereotyping. It also provides a platform for the youth to showcase their talents and share their opinions.

Tony Macaulay states, “I am very proud of the work these young people have accomplished over the past several months, and I hope that the experience will inspire them to continue to break down walls of prejudice throughout their lives.”

Macaulay, author of the critically acclaimed memoirs Paperboy and Breadboy, entered the partnership with 174 Trust and Youth Action NI as a writer and volunteer artist for the program. He helped to develop a script with local youth and foster an environment of collaboration, creativity and cohesion. Macaulay has worked with hundreds of groups on issues such as community development, conflict resolution, equality and human rights, and helped to develop 174 Trust in Belfast in the 1980’s.

“These youth have worked very hard, and I believe strongly in the message they will portray,” stated Together Stronger Program Director Geoffrey Kerr. “I hope that it encourages others in our community to think differently about conflict resolution and the way they interact with those of different back rounds and lifestyles than their own.”

To book free tickets contact reception@174trust.org and for more information on Together Stronger, visit 174trust.org

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Peacebuilder and Writer Tony Macaulay Partners to Present the Together Stronger Program, a Youth Drama Project

Macaulay joins 174 Trust and Youth Action in Northern Ireland to engage youth

Tony Macaulay, peacebuilder and critically acclaimed author of Paperboy and Breadboy, has entered a partnership with 174 Trust and Youth Action Northern Ireland as a writer and volunteer artist for the Together Stronger Program. This youth drama project aims to create an issue-based piece of theatre focusing on sectarianism through which 13 to 18 year-olds can share their voices and talents within their communities.Image

Macaulay has offered to write a script in consultation with local youth around the union flag dispute that arose in late 2012 and led to widespread protests and unrest. Youth Action will provide a core cast of experienced young actors from their Rainbow Factory Project, while 174 Trust will attract further participation from other local young people to fulfill roles in script development, lighting, sound, extras and so on. Two performances of the drama will run at 174 Trust and Youth Action NI in College Square North.

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“The opportunity to assist in the development of this drama is an honor,” Macaulay said. “It is a wonderful chance for these young minds to develop their views and opinions, as well as showcase their talents, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of their work and collaboration.”

Throughout the creative process of the Together Stronger program, thirty young people will be given the opportunity to explore, develop and publicly express their views and opinions on sectarianism. Additionally, they will learn and develop devising, rehearsing and performance skills.

“Our objective for the youth drama project is for these young people to challenge and provoke debate in their communities around issues of sectarian division, stereotyping and prejudice,” said Together Stronger Program Coordinator Geoffrey Kerr. “With Tony’s guidance, the program will be a great success and a meaningful experience for our local youth.”

Macaulay has been involved in community development, youth work and peacebuilding for the past 28 years, and worked in establishing the community development project 174 Trust in North Belfast in the 1980s. He established Macaulay Associates in 2001 to provide facilitation and developmental support to organizations committed to creating positive social change. These goals coincide with the 174 Trust and Youth Action’s commitments to build peace amongst communities and to enable the voices of young people to be heard and valued.

For more information on the Together Stronger Program, visit 174trust.org.

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