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Manx Grand Prix
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Toil and technical trouble - but not tragedy for young actors 11 November 2010

MEMBERS of the Manx National Youth Theatre worked hard and overcame technical difficulties to triumph at a festival in the UK.

The MNYT’s Shakespeare Club performed its adaptation of Macbeth at the Schools’ Shakespeare Festival at Liverpool’s Hope University Theatre. MNYT Shakespeare

A cast of 16, aged from 11 to 19, modernised one of the Bard’s darkest plays, using gangster culture as the theme.

Directed by Tina Adamson, an Assistant Youth Worker, the 30-minute version was presented to a packed house and was well received by an appreciative audience.

The group included film in its production but, due to technical difficulties at the venue, it could not be used, leaving the cast just an hour to rehearse the key ‘three witches’ scene as live action.

The cast was praised by festival organisers for its performance, notably Toby Cross as Macbeth who gave an innocent and naïve portrayal of one of the stage’s most notorious murderers, compelling the audience to sympathise with him as he was led to his doom by Laura Matthews’ deadly and ambitious Lady Macbeth.

The inexperienced cast, which included students from Ballakermeen, St Ninian’s and Queen Elizabeth II high schools, held its own alongside A-level students from three Liverpool schools and was congratulated for its interpretation and its technical knowledge.

‘It was a great experience for the cast,’ said Fiona Helleur, Head of Youth Arts with the Department of Education and Children. ‘The majority had never appeared in a play before and they worked hard together to create this interpretation.
‘This is the third year we have entered a cast for the Schools’ Shakespeare Festival and we can’t recommend it enough. Appearing on the professional stage off Island is daunting for most young actors and this group rose to the occasion and gave the best performance possible.’

The club raised money for the trip by packing bags at Shoprite in Onchan and holding a 24-hour ‘stayawake’ at Douglas Youth Centre, where it is based, while the entry fee was met by the Youth Events Committee.

The Shakespeare Club meets on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm-9pm and costs £1 a session. For more information, ring Fiona on 07624 427339.

Pictured with the famous Suitcases sculpture in a very wet Liverpool are Aalish Watson, Alyssa Brew, Amy Glover, Beth Brown, Emma Smith, Georgia Byrne, Jack Quillian, Jake Burns, Laura Matthews, Leon Teare, Maggie Fair, Peter Kaneen, Rhianna Watson, Sam Dooley, Toby Cross and Warren Lee accompanied by Youth Service staff including Tina Adamson, Aaron Joughin, Ruth Jackson and Stuart Adamson.

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