A West Midlands theatre group are celebrating after being selected to represent Great Britain at a world theatre festival.
Wolverhampton’s Central Youth Theatre (CYT) has been chosen to go to the International World Festival of Amateur Theatre in the principality of Monaco next year. The premiere festival celebrating amateur and community theatre is organised every two years.
Every four years it is held in Monaco, and strongly supported by the Grimaldi Royal family. It was founded in 1957 with twelve troupes from across Europe taking part. By 1997 twenty-four troupes from all five continents took part – with that number being maintained since then.
As England, Scotland and Wales each take it in turn to have a representative selected English groups can only be nominated once every six years. CYT submitted a DVD of their production of Burnt by the Sun – staged at Wolverhampton’s Arena Theatre in July this year.
It was selected and nominated by the Great Britain International Amateur Theatre Association committee but CYT had to wait to hear if it had been selected by the World Committee for performance in the 2013 festival. They will perform during a festival which runs from the 19th to 28th of August next year.
Burnt by The Sun is Peter Flannery’s examination of the full horror of Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union. Set in 1936, the revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending what seems to be an idyllic summer in his dacha with his young wife and family.
Things change dramatically as a face from the past re-enters their lives. Amidst a tangle of sexual jealousy and retribution, the full horrifying reach of Stalin’s rule is about to invade their lives.
CYT Burnt by the Sun Director Jane Ward says: “Our members are so thrilled and excited to have been selected. We have been attending international festivals for the last thirty years, but to get to the World Festival in our 30th Anniversary year will be the pinnacle of our international achievements.
“The choice of venues are absolutely stunning, and we have to chose where we think would be the right performance space for the show. Burnt by the Sun is a play about social change, political corruption and the re-structuring of society with the consequent impact this has on people’s lives.
“Whilst we have been working on this production, we have seen contemporary history being made with the breakdown of economic living standards in many countries in Europe and the political corruption that has brought countries low, destroying the lives of so many people.
“It has been very interesting for our cast to realise that a production such as this has contemporary parallels”.
The sumptuous costume drama was costumed from CYT’s amazing theatrical wardrobe of more than 10,000 costumes assembled over the last 29 years and now housed in the city’s former Antiques Market, next to the indoor retail market in Market Street.