Gatehouse Theatre Summer Project 2018 announcement

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre has announced that this year's Summer School productions will be the Madness Musical, Our House, and Disney's The Little Mermaid Jnr.

For the first time in the long tradition of Stafford Gatehouse Theatre Summer School, this year will see not one, but two, musical productions starring young performers from the local area.

The new format is titled Stafford Gatehouse Theatre Summer Project, and will see youngsters aged 7-12 rehears and perform Disney's The Little Mermaid Jnr in the MET Studio.

Journey "under the sea" with Ariel and her aquatic friends in Disney's The Little Mermaid JR., adapted from Disney's Broadway production and the motion picture (featuring the enormously popular Academy Award-winning music and delightfully charming book and lyrics). Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories, Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. is an enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance.

In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home - and her fins - behind and live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she's the girl whose enchanting voice he's been seeking.

Elsewhere, performers aged 13-21 will take on the Madness Musical Our House in the main auditorium.

Based in 1980s Camden Town, Our House tells the story of London lad Joe Casey, who, on the night of his sixteenth birthday, takes Sarah, the girl of his dreams, out on their first date. In an effort to impress her with bravado, he breaks into a building site overlooking his home on Casey Street, which is owned by Mister Pressman, a high-end property developer. The police turn up, at which point Joe's life splits into two: the Good Joe, who stays to help, and Bad Joe, who flees.

Featuring a collection of Madness hits including 'House of Fun', 'Baggy Trousers', 'Driving in my Car', 'It Must Be Love' and of course 'Our House', the show is a huge hit with groups and schools looking for a very British musical.

In addition to rehearsing the show, the lucky youngsters will also take part in workshops covering all they need to know about the theatrical world.

Press and Marketing Officer at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Tom Waldron, said:

"We had great success with last year's Summer School production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, with audiences loving the show and most performances close to capacity. However, following some feedback from parents and participants, we wanted to shake things up a bit this year. So we have decided to stage two separate, professionally produced and directed shows. This will give all participants more one-on-one time with the creative team during rehearsals, as well as more time spent on stage during the show.

"Summer School is a fantastic way for young performers to build confidence, learn new skills and also make friends for life. I hope to see as many hopefuls as possible in attendance for the audition day on Sunday 22nd April."

The Summer School sessions will start on Monday 23rd July, with the production of Disney's The Little Mermaid Jnr opening on Wednesday 1st and running until Saturday 4th August in the MET Studio, and the production of Our House opening on Wednesday 8th and running until Saturday 11th August in the main auditorium.

Limited places will be available and the only way to gain a place in this year's production is to audition on Sunday 22nd April. The auditions will take place at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, with the first session at 9.30am for 7-12 year olds, followed by a session at 2pm for 13 - 21 year olds.

Summer School places are available for youngsters aged between 7 and 21 who live in or attend a school in Staffordshire. Previous years have seen over 120 children battle it out for one of the lucky spaces.

Parents of auditionees will need to have in place at the time of the audition a valid enhanced DBS licence* (dated within the last three years). *Please note this is non-refundable

For further information on how to apply and costs please call Stafford Gatehouse Theatre on 01785 619080 or visit

For more information about DBS or Chaperone licences, contact or call 01785 278927 / 01785 277409

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