After over two years of planning and on/off rehearsals due to the pandemic the B&B Young People’s Theatre Group are now stage ready to perform their production of Shrek the Musical.
From 12th April, 25 very talented young performers from Lowestoft and the surrounding area will delight audiences young and old as they perform this comedy musical at The Players Theatre, Lowestoft.
Shrek is a story about a green ogre from the swamp, a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue, plus a host of other fairy tale misfit characters who are guaranteed to amuse. Originally released by DreamWorks in 2001 as an animated film the Oscar winning smash-hit has been adapted for the stage with the premier being performed on Broadway in 2008.
The oldest cast member is Lauren Benjamin, aged 20. She will be playing one of two Princess Fionas, each Fiona will perform alternate shows. Evie Forsdicke, 18 years, is the second Princess Fiona. The youngest cast member is Isabella McCormack at just nine years old. Isabella will be playing Little Shrek and Baby Bear.
We spoke with Jamie Coleman (pictured), aged 19, who will be playing Shrek. “This show has been such a long time coming, I’m so looking forward to it” he said.
When not performing on stage Jamie is a full-time maths student at the University of East Anglia (UEA). He started performing when he was just four years old and has previously played many leading roles with B&B including Jean Valjean in Les Miserables as well as Fagin in Oliver and Fat Sam in Bugsy Malone with other amateur dramatic societies.
The very talented and also very down to earth Jamie added “Although I’m reading maths at university, I would really love to make a career out of performing but I thought it would be wise to complete my education first. My family are very happy with my decision!”
Playing the role of Donkey will be Casey Divall, (also pictured) and 19 years and a maths student at the UEA. We asked Casey how will it be possible for a 19-year-old to portray a donkey on stage.
“I’ll be standing throughout the show” he said. “But I’ll also be holding my arms in the front of my chest in a slightly raised position with elbows bent so it looks like I have four legs. I’ll also be dressed from head to toe in fur. I haven’t tried the costume on yet, but I know it’s going to be rather warm, particularly when I dance!”
Casey will be Donkey for alternative performances. When he is not playing Donkey, he will be in the show as Paper Bear and Papa Ogre. His counterpart Hayden Shaw, aged 19 will be playing Donkey on the alternate shows.
The B&B Young People’s Theatre Group was set up 12 years ago by four Lowestoft high school students who wanted to give their peers the opportunity to perform on stage. The Group have made their home at the Players Theatre situated in Battery Green Road. New members between six and 24 years are always welcome.
The production of Shrek is being directed by the very committed Mim Coleman and her husband Mike. Cerys Roscoe, 23 years, has choreographed the show.
“It’s been so much fun,” said Cerys. “The entire cast has worked so hard and I’m really proud of what everyone has achieved. The highlight of the show for me will be when the entire cast does a tap routine on stage – I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat hoping that everyone’s feet move in unison!”
There will be eight performances of Shrek the Musical during the school Easter Holidays. The first being on Tuesday 12th April.
To book tickets please visit www.playerstheatre.info or phone the Box Office on 01502 770020.
Please follow B&B on Facebook to find out about upcoming productions and how to become a member.
Cast members from The B&B Young Peoples Theatre Group preparing for Shrek the Musical.
All photo credits: Cerys Roscoe