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Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre set to perform Rent

Members of the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre cast

Members of the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre cast

Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre is noted for its amazing productions and its choice of shows tackling tough issues – with Fame, it was racism and drug abuse, with Les Miserables it was overwhelming loss and revolution and with Jesus Christ Superstar it was all about faith and dying for what you believe in, even when nothing is certain.

The company’s next production, Rent, also carries some difficult subject matter extremely relevant to today’s society such as the affect drugs have on relationships, death of close friends and same sex relationships.

This musical ran on Broadway for over 12 years and became one of the longest running productions ever in Broadway Theatre history.

Creator Jonathan Larson’s exuberant East Village rock version of Puccini’s opera La Bohème won the Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

A cast of nearly 50-strong local young people from Lichfield and the surrounding areas are now in final rehearsals for the show which promises to be another groundbreaking production from Lichfield’s original Youth Theatre.

The cast is supported by a hard-working production team with backgrounds in Theatre and Performance Arts, who give their time voluntarily to ensure the production is the best it possibly can be.

The young people hail from Lichfield, Tamworth, Burton, Burntwood, Cannock, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall and all the surrounding areas.

Director Julie Mallaband reached great critical acclaim with the Youth Theatre’s 2008 production of Les Miserables along with Musical Director and Chairman Oliver Rowe, who comes fresh from their outstanding production of Jesus Christ Superstar earlier this year.

For Choreographer Natalie Blackwell this production is especially poignant as it marks her last, for the time being, before she goes to university.

Under this team’s watchful eye, the audience can be sure of a moving and entertaining evening.

The Youth Theatre is also renowned for it’s high production values including a professionally constructed set under the guidance of Matthew Garfield and mesmerising lighting designs by Stephen Rainsford who, received acclaim for his designs on Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The principal cast in this ensemble performance features Youth Theatre regulars Toby Smith, Ben Foulds, Charlotte Middleton, Dan Breakwell, Lizzie Wofford, Martin Holden-White, joined by newcomers Lily Somerville and Robert Glynn.

Oliver Rowe said:

“LGYT now has the reputation for producing professional-standard performances and wow thousands of theatregoers with each production.

“Although affiliated with the Garrick Theatre, it is completely independent and self sustaining receiving no funding from the theatre or any other groups and is entirely reliant on its ticket sales to secure its future

“The Youth Theatre would like to acknowledge and thank Councillor Terry Finn who has kindly donated funds towards the cost of the set hire for Rent through the County Council’s grant scheme.

“LGYT is also looking for any local businesses interested in sponsoring this production to get in touch with them via the e-mail address, as each production costs over £30,000 to produce. Anyone interested can contact them via the e-mail address –”

Rent runs at the Lichfield Garrick from Tuesday to Saturday October 13 to 17 at 7.30pm, plus a Saturday matinee.

For ticket information, call the box office on 01543 412121 or book online at

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