Curtain Up Youth Theatre: Celebrating 20 Years
2020 marks 20 years since the formation of the Llynfi Valley’s award-winning Curtain Up Youth Theatre. Recent events have put the planned celebrations on hold, but we can still look back at the magic, joy and laughter the group has brought to members and audiences alike, and look forward to its future when performances are allowed to return!
Curtain Up was formed in 2000 by Sarah Thomas and Ruth Whelan, and held its first workshop at Maesteg Town Hall, where the group has practiced and performed ever since.
In Sarah’s own words, “Maesteg Town has often been described as an Oasis of Culture. With art groups, several choirs, dancing classes, a drama group and a long-standing Operatic Society, few could say otherwise. However, flashback 20 years ago, there was still a need and an ever-growing demand for a Youth Theatre.
One sunny day, over several cups of tea in the local café, Ruth and myself were discussing this very topic, and, over the course of the afternoon, a drama workshop had been organised, and Curtain Up Youth Theatre was born.”
Since then, with the help of a dedicated team which over the years has included Richard Norton, Claire Isaac, Susan Heffey and dedicated parents, volunteers and invaluable backstage crew, Curtain Up has gone from strength to strength, having performed regular ambitious concerts and full scale (often wacky) musicals at Maesteg Town Hall including the Wizard Of Oz (twice!), The Vackees, Honk, Seusical the Musical, Joseph, Grease and Hairspray, and more recently, Disney hits such as The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan.
Having impacted many hundreds of lives over the past two decades, Curtain Up believes that “youth theatres are essential, and should be accessible to everyone.”
“2019 was the end of an era for our local community with he closing, repair and redevelopment of our Town Hall, leaving us without a performance and rehearsal venue for a couple of years.
Determined to make the most of this splendid building and “old friend”, Curtain Up performed two shows Alice in Wonderland and The Wedding Singer. Both shows sold out and with three past members playing in the orchestra and another on programme design, I don’t think we had ever been so proud.”
Congratulations Curtain Up, we’re proud to be part of your story, and can’t wait to welcome you back to the redeveloped hall.