Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre provides the youth of Lichfield and the surrounding areas with an educational musical theatre experience. We will provide the means for young people to take part in professional theatre activities. We are open to anyone in school years 7 and until a maximum age of 21. Our goal is to produce performances that are of an outstanding quality. All of our members will gain invaluable experience through performances, rehearsals and workshops, which we believe gives our members an insight into what it’s really like to stage a production.
In November 1985, Pat Gibson along with the support of the Lichfield District Arts Association (LDAA) put on the show Grease with a group of interested youngsters at the Lichfield Arts Centre. Lichfield Youth Theatre, as it was known then, was then founded with Pat Gibson as Chairperson. Records show that there have been previous incarnations of the group dating back to 1970 and beyond!
Up to 1995 the group had a happy ten years at the Arts Centre, producing a total of thirty productions during that time including Guys and Dolls, The Boyfriend, The Wizard of Oz and the highly-rated Harrowing of Hell in the 1994 Lichfield Mysteries.
The closure of the Arts Centre in February 1995 due to structural problems brought catastrophic problems for the imminent production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. The show had to find a new home, and was therefore squeezed into a church hall half the size of the Arts Centre with a cast of 50 to perform in a space no larger than your average sized living room. There was so little room, the show band ended up in the kitchen!
The fight for survival had begun!
Due to the lack of a home, we were forced to adapt and grow in order for us to stay alive. By producing larger shows such as Annie, 42nd Street, West Side Story and Guys and Dolls at the Lichfield Civic Hall, we gained the reputation as a group ready to take on the professionals with the ability to survive for years to come. However, Lichfield Civic Hall was then marked for closure too, so again we had to adapt yet again. Our next production saw us going back to the earlier one when we were last made homeless in 1995 with a big budget version of Joseph once more. This time, against the odds, we produced the entire show at Lichfield Cathedral in April 2002 which was a huge success.
With the opening of the Lichfield Garrick, we quickly formed an alliance and produced Oliver! as our first production there and became Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre which was extremely successful, and highly praised by all. We followed on from that with Little Shop of Horrors also at the Lichfield Garrick.
In November 2006, after a short break, we performed our belated 20th Anniversary Concert which was a sell-out and involved members past and present. The Finale of the show was dedicated to the memory of Pat Gibson who had sadly passed away a few weeks before.
The Youth Theatre continues in her memory.
In July 2007 LGYT made its triumphant return with a sell out production of Fame - The Musical, which was followed up with its magnificent productions of Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent and West Side Story.
In December 2011, we were nominated and won the Best Production Award for our production of "Oliver!" and have also been nominated for awards for our productions of Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Footloose and Rent.
We were given special permission to produce Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera in 2014.
We celebrated our 30th Anniversary in 2015, and now we have another fight for survival on our hands! This time, it's the fight against ever rising costs of the venue hire which has nearly doubled in the past 2 years due to decreasing subsidies from the council. To continue and secure our future we will be embarking on a number of concerts and other fundraising activities to ensure our survival.
We thank all of our audiences for their ongoing support, it really does mean everything to us.