Star-Crossed celebrated the past, present and future of theatre. Three different shows in one, all about love and relationships, Star-Crossed was the culmination of our two-year Heritage Project.
The first production was the classic Romeo and Juliet, was directed by Scott Le Crass and introduced our themes f love. The second show was a devised piece directed by Dani Baker, focusing on the themes from Romeo and Juliet and how they reflect today's young people. The third and final performance was Three by Harriet Braun, directed by Laura Perry, highlighting the ups and downs of relationships and how we navigate the world with our inner voices commenting on everything we do.
This ambitious production involved 18 fantastic cast members, three directors, 20 behind the scenes team members and two months of rehearsals...it certainly all paid off!
Humbug! was devised from the stimulus of a programme found in the Croydon Archives of a production of A Christmas Carol staged at the Ashcroft Theatre in 1970. This original production, starring Richard Todd and Robert Beatty, gave our cast a historical starting point on which to base their modern day interpretation of the story.
Set in the familiar surroundings of a school library, the cast worked hard on representing what Scrooge meant to them, and the different ways we can all be Scrooge sometimes. Directed and steered by Liz Bacon from Anything Other Theatre, the 13-strong cast created a fun, engaging and creative interpretation to bring this classic story into the modern day.
“If it worked for Scrooge, it'll work for us!”
TRACING THE PAST
Tracing the Past was a multimedia, intergenerational performance project staged in June 2017 as part of CYTO’s Theatre Heritage Project in conjunction with Tangled Feet.
The performance used ‘verbatim’ theatre, which saw young people telling the stories and anecdotes of elderly residents at Whitgift House, who kindly spoke to us about their experiences of theatre in Croydon when they were young. The cast met residents, recorded their stories and then took on the role of telling these stories, by listening to them in headphones whilst performing in character.
The young cast members also recorded their impressions of theatre in Croydon in the present day, which was performed by older cast members as part of the show.
“I’ve loved every second of it! It’s been an amazing experience and I wish I could do it all over again!”
The Rivals by Sheridan was performed at CYTO in March 2017, directed by David Page.
Set in Bath in the 18th Century, The Rivals is a tale of love, both reciprocated and unrequited, and the complexities of society and relationships at that time.
The performance took a traditional style and saw our members exploring scripted work as well as performing in full period dress.
To begin our Croydon Theatre Heritage Project, made possible by the Doris Pacey Charitable Foundation and Dr. Michael and Anna Brynberg Charitable Foundation, the members created a special production celebrating the rich history of Music Hall. The show spanned from 1840 to 1960 and took the audience on a journey of how Music Hall came around, inspired from John Major's Book 'My Old Man'. A Drink, A Seat, A Song was directed by Debra Tennant alongside musical director Vanessa Helne.
Music Hall spanned over 130 years and was performed from 1830 to 1960. Beginning in the back rooms of pubs and ale houses,it offered a place of solace for the working classes where songs and jokes about day to day life: lodgers, mothers-in-law, bailiffs, overdue rent, drink, debt, adversity, unfaithful wives (and husbands), hen-pecked husbands (and wives) were performed. It played a vital role too when Britain was at war – reflecting the patriotism and grief of those at home.
A Drink, A Seat, A Song takes you on a journey spanning 130 years. The production does not lay claim to historical accuracy, however we do claim to have captured the spirit and essence of Music Hall through the years and how it played a central role in people’s lives.
A DRINK, A SEAT, A SONG
“The Music Hall is dying and with it a significant part of England”