Ryedale Youth Theatre 2019

Ryedale Youth Theatre was formed in 1991 and is a voluntary organization (registered charity no. 1053362). The main purpose of our work is to train young people (age 8-18) in the Ryedale and York areas in all aspects of the performing arts, in particular musical theatre, both on stage and behind the scenes.

We are thrilled to have been granted the licence to perform Ian Fleming’s ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and to be one of a limited number of amateur youth groups in the UK to have been chosen to stage the musical as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the much loved 1968 movie. Everyone’s favorite flying car comes to life in the musical adaptation of the beloved film and Ryedale Youth Theatre is proud and amazed to announce that our set construction master carpenter Piddy Young and his grandson Matt Kemp have created our very own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car! Piddy has spent the autumn and winter months holed up at our set storage barn making Chitty and all the set.

Piddy and Matt faced a massive challenge to make the car work. In the first instance Piddy needed to find a way to be able to drive the car.  He sourced a second hand mobility scooter via E-Bay and this was purchased for £150.00 in October last year. Matt Kemp then set about building the chassis and when this was done the mobility scooter was dismantled, the motor was fitted on the chassis and the steering fixed to the front. Wooden wheels were made to fit inside bicycle wheel rims to get the authentic look.

Piddy built the front part of the car next and then went on to build the boat for the back while Matt did the steering and Alan Murray upholstered the front and back seats. Lights, horn, basket and other bits have been sourced from friends.   It wasn’t until Jane Gledhill’s fantastic paintwork was done and Matt and his friend Kevin Jacques used their hydraulics skills to make it ‘fly’, that Chitty the car actually came to life.

“Lots of hours, lots of conversations, lots of disputes but I think this is the best thing yet that I’ve made for RYT. We have both really enjoyed it.”

To help to pay for the making of the car and fund raise towards the general costs in producing such a spectacular show, it was decided to present RYT’s Greatest Show at The Milton Rooms, Malton onNovember 2nd and 3rd, 2018.  Wonderfully directed and choreographed by Chloe Shipley and Lauren Hood, “the stage at the Milton Rooms was filled with song, dance, colour, movement and above all sheer talent.”  The show gave some of the young people who are on RYT’s long waiting list the chance to join the existing members on stage and it was a huge success.

Yvonne Young our costume maker and wardrobe mistress extraordinaire and her assistants have spent hours and hours sewing since Christmas.   Yvonne always takes pride in keeping her costumes as true to the originals as possible and believes that everyone remembers iconic costumes such as the waistcoats in ‘ME O’L BAMBOO- (56 coloured squares were sewn onto each waistcoat); The Doll and The Clown and of course Truly’s ‘signature’ bonnet. At the last count 260 yards of material have been used (a lot of this on the 50 pink and white costumes for ‘TOOT SWEETS’).  The last costumes to be completed used 28 yards of red and 55 yards of black fabric, as well as 90 yards of frills sewn on for the big production number ‘THE BOMBIE SAMBA’.

We are very happy to welcome our very talented and highly experienced new Musical Director Rachael Clarke to the production team. Rachael has very ably stepped into Martin Dixon’s shoes after his retirement last year and has already proved to be an invaluable member of the team.

Once again we were in the very fortunate position that everybody who auditioned was so talented that we could have cast this show in so many different ways. We had great difficulty in finalising the cast list and eventually decided that we would have to double cast Jemima and Jeremy with Eloise Myers and Ruby Jackson sharing the role of Jemima and Michael Williamson and Jack Robinson sharing the role of Jeremy.  “What a lucky company to have such a pool of talent coming through, and what a lucky audience to know that there is sufficient talent to take this amazing young company onward and upwards.”

Every show is only as good as the constituent elements and Ryedale Youth Theatre is blessed with having some really talented people on board to ensure that the show is a winner. From our director/choreographer Chloe Shipley and assistant director/choreographer Lauren Hood – both former Ryedale Youth Members; our new musical director Rachael Clarke; the multi talented young members and their limitless energy; set construction master carpenter Piddy Young; ‘Chitty’ car construction Piddy Young and Matt Kemp; wardrobe mistress extraordinaire Yvonne Young and her assistants; property manager Jane Gledhill; set artists Jane Gledhill and Jo Claire and an excellent administration and production team who work tirelessly ‘to get the show on the road.’ Not to mention the rest of our wonderful team of family volunteers who are essential to the every day running of the show.  Many thanks to you all for your help and support, without which the show could not go on.

Barbara Wood

Chairman Ryedale Youth Theatre