Dewsbury Arts Group's Youth Theatre makes welcome return to stage

Dewsbury Arts Group’s Youth Theatre returned to the stage at the David and Judith Wood Theatre on Lower Peel Street - and from the audience reaction on both nights, it was a welcome return indeed after a two year absence.

By Review by Tom Ellis
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 5:00 pm
Dewsbury Arts Group’s Youth Theatre production of 'Figments'
Dewsbury Arts Group’s Youth Theatre production of 'Figments'

The junior group opened the night with David Foxton’s “Figments”, a surreal almost slapstick journey through the imagination of Alex Sutton and his friend (also Alex).

Their trip to the local Foodplan supermarket, complete with trolleys kindly loaned by Sainsbury’s Dewsbury, opened a world of dancing, dressage, cowboys, mad inventors, angry customers and hapless staff.

The play moved with plenty of zip and the juniors, most of them appearing on stage at Lower Peel Street for the first time, worked well in ensemble, bringing the zany antics to life with gusto.

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No sign of first night nerves here with both the leads turning in confident engaging performances.

The simple staging allowed for the action and bizarre range of characters to take centre stage and the set pieces of trolley dressage, checkout mayhem and especially the trolley formation dancing team were well worked.

The comic moments drew lots of laughs and the cast made the most of the witty script, particularly in the duel arena in the finale. All in all this was a very impressive first piece.

After the interval it was the turn of the senior group to entertain with a premiere - “The Searchers”, also by David Foxton.

There were some strong characterisations from all the cast in this story of a group of twenty-somethings looking to bring their old school Fantastic Five back together for one last hurrah.

The action moved smoothly from scene to scene, aided by some clever staging with the cast setting and resetting furniture and props.

Although less frenetic than “Figments”, there were plenty of laughs in this tale, particularly the hilarious disinterested council official, the sadistic looking nurse, the domineering granny and the barbed sarcasm of those characters less inclined to join in the search for the old chums.

The dialogue crackled along, characters bouncing off each other snappily as they cajoled, argued and joked their way through the story.

The cast dealt with the tricky characters with confidence and worked as a real ensemble team to support each other in building credible people, which was crucial in bringing the play to life.

All in all it was a great evening’s entertainment well received by full houses.

The Youth Theatre at Dewsbury Arts Group is a bit of a hidden gem and really is a credit to the town, working with all young people from 11 to 18.

Anyone interested in getting involved should contact [email protected]