MARK YOUTH THEATRE
A theatre club for young people aged 8 and upwards who live in or around the village of Mark.
They meet weekly in term time on Wednesday evenings with their main aim to product a show which is performed over three nights at The Princess Theatre, Burnham-on-Sea, or Strode Theatre in Street.
See their website www.markyouththeatre.org.uk for further details.
Wednesdays 6.00 pm Village Hall
Contact: Paul Impey 01278 792340
After graduating from University, Nikki Hewson (nee Lewis) became Parish Youth Leader. During that time, she ran the “Little Church” and it was the involvement in that, coupled with her background in music/ performance and theatre, which led to the start of Mark Youth Theatre.
The first play was a Church Christmas play, written by Nikki and performed in the church hall. Some much loved members of the village were involved, including Arthur Hill who was a wonderful shepherd. Very humble beginnings but it sowed the seed. Mark Youth Theatre then became an off shoot of the youth work within the village and with the help of Polly Hall, and the church community, Mark Youth Theatre was born. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first production when an overwhelming number of children turned up for the first rehearsal. Parents soon came on board to help and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (adapted by Nikki Lewis and Polly Hall) was performed in the church hall and also at a special Easter Day service at Mark church in 1997. A Christmas Carol followed in December 1998 with the church being felt to be the most atmospheric surrounding for the performance. By this time a committee had been established. Nikki wrote the Theatre of Dreams for the Youth Theatre, and this was performed at the village hall in July 1999. May 2000 saw A Book of Wishes, again written by Nikki, being performed as a millennium production, and as a community production involving the school and other organisations.
Nikki’s last production was “Rats” at The Princess Theatre in Burnham-on-Sea, and this marked the start of MYT’s association with The Princess. The age group of children taking part was much lower in the early days. 4 - 13/14 years. There certainly weren’t many older than that.
There was a real need for something like Mark Youth Theatre in the village and it just worked and it has gone on from strength to strength….. fantastic.
An advertisement was put in the parish magazine in 2002 asking for volunteers as Nikki was giving up MYT to follow her teaching career. Clare Banwell was one of those who volunteered, and directs Mark Youth Theatre to the present time.