An enormous part of our student's education and development, both on and off the stage, comes from the incredible amount of productions we undertake throughout the year. From plays to musicals, cabarets to summer courses. Here are some of our successes of the past and what our students currently have to look forward to in the future.
Each year the National Theatre commissions ten writers to create new plays for performance by schools and young theatres all over the country. For the third year running Bodens Youth Theatre has been selected to perform Heritage by Dafydd James.
Featuring a cast of primary school age students, both these Roald Dahl shows, based on his revolting rhymes, are performed together to create one big musical.
William Shakespeare's classic love story is brought to life by our young people, and 'tweaked' by Adam Boden to create an entertaining new version suitable for all ages.
"Next day, I meet somebody and they say to me: "Wow, you dance on Broadway! How fabulous! You got somewhere. You're something." And Christ, I get this feeling inside because I remember when I used to stand outside of that stage door and watch all these girls come out of there, with their eyelashes and their make-up and I'd think: "God I'll never be that old. I'll never be that old. I'll never be old enough to come out of that stage door." But deep down inside I knew I would, and goddam it, I've come this far and I'm not giving up now."
1. Whatever goes on two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes on four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
"Next day, as the Ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into their vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. Of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, nobody knew that a gray spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died."
"Hang on! I think Dinah ought to take an oath. Dinah Glass, do you swear to honour the secrecy of SPLAT, to protect its members and never willingly reveal anything about us to any of them?"
"Thomas Mead, never learned to read. We don't know why... he never even tried."
On his way to school one morning, Pascale discovers a large helium-filled red balloon. As he plays with his newfound toy, he realizes the balloon has a mind and will of its own. It begins to follow him wherever he goes.
"I don't wanna go home. I wanna stay here."
"Have you seen my baby boy? Have you seen him? I had just prepared breakfast for him. I was bending over his basket to pick him up when I felt a blast blow me across the room. I can’t find him".
"That order did not come from any leader of mine. I did not believe that a law passed by you surpasses any unwritten law that mankind has bided by for centuries. Those laws are not of yesterday or today. They are everlasting. If standing by those laws, laid down by those before us, laid down by God himself, leads me to the punishment of death, then so be it. I could not bear my brother left unburied, but this… this I can bear".
"Stranded and alone – The pilot came to expect that she would meet death rather than a child. She began to question whether they were perhaps one in the same? It took a long time to learn where he came from. The little prince, who asked so many questions, never seemed to hear the ones asked of him".
No-one can forget the moment they heard the news. September 11th, 2001 sent shockwaves across the globe. It was a day that was supposed to change the world forever.
"I took Alex to the school in the SUV. We drove through the gates of our community in the SUV and the news of the bombings came through on the car radio. They stopped the music and they told us about the bombs that were ... everywhere. Alex began to cry. What do you do? He was seven. I turned off the radio but he screamed out to me: "Mummy mummy what's happening? Aren't we good people?" And I said of course we are darling of course we are we are very good people".
"My own garden is my own garden,' said the Giant; 'any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.' So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board. TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED"
"You have some sort of power... Power to make people believe they can do things - things they thought they never could."
The product of our spring term musical theatre course was Disney's abridged version of their classic Jungle Book Kids. In July 2013 a cast of thirty 'four to eleven' year performed a re-imagined version outside in The Courtyard Theatre.
FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY THE MUSICAL, based on the beloved New York Times Best Selling book by celebrated actress Julianne Moore, is a brand new family musical. This UK Premiere was performed by the talented junior students of Bodens Youth Theatre in April 2013 at The Scaffold Theatre.
In March 2013, we returned to one of London's most beautiful venues, the Hackney Empire, and gave all our students the opportunity to perform in front of an audience of 1300 family and friends. The two performed shows were a celebration of all our students; their ability and achievements.
Written by Anya Reiss, this new one act play is part of the National Theatre Connections programme 2013. In March nine young people from Bodens Youth Theatre performed this paly in The Scaffold Theatre. In May they are heading in to London to perform as part of the festival at the Soho Theatre.
In October 2012, twenty of Bodens Youth Theatre's most talented members took on the challenge of Sondheim's 'Into The Woods'. Presented in a transformed Tony Boden Theatre, this production highlighted the incredible talent and standards that Bodens Youth Theatre has to offer. It was the final production in The Tony Boden Theatre before the venue became 'The Scaffold Theatre', a subsidised and affordable performance venue supporting Young People, New Writing, Creative Education and Community Theatre.
ANNIE JR. was one of our Summer Courses 2012. A group of forty five students produced the entire musical in just five days, and performed for family and friends in the Tony Boden Theatre complete with costumes, sound & lighting.
This devised theatre project is the culmination of twenty six junior students work. Raindrop tells the story of Aysu, a small raindrop, and her fight to discover why rain is forbidden to fall. Beneath the sky, upon the world, five remaining children continue their daily fight for survival, the search for water.
In April , students from our ballet, tap, modern and street dance classes performed their own version of the classic story of Peter Pan, in our 2012 Dance Show, 'NEVERLAND". The show icluded a core ensemble of Pirates and Lost Boys, supportig Wendy, John and Michael as they accompanied Peter Pan to his home to help save Tiger Lily from the evil Captain Hook.
Every year, The National Theatre commissions ten plays by British and international writers, exploring stories from around the world to inspire young theatre companies across the UK. In 2012, we were excited and inspired that Bodens Youth Theatre were selected as one of the passionate and committed young theatre companies to take up the challenge of staging the scripts. We were very lucky to be allocated Craig Higginson's Little Foot.
In February 2012 Bodens Students brought the story of A Little Princess to life on the stage of The Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar. It was the premiere of a brand new musical written by Adam Boden and Marc Folan. With a cast recording of the album available on iTunes, the run of the show ended with a final performance to a standing ovation.
Our final show of 2011 was presented by our Junior students from our Sunday Performing Arts Course. A talented cast performed the musical HONK JR. in The Tony Boden Theatre. A brilliant version of the classic Ugly Duckling story.
Rainbows Ending, written by Noel Greig, is a modern fable telling the story of a world in the grip of two giants whose insatiable appetite is driving it, apparently inevitably, to utter devastation. How a society and its individuals react to such a threat is the subject of this multi-faceted play, whose "storytelling" style encourages inventive and imaginative approaches to dramatic work with the performer acting as both character and narrator.
In November 2011, Junior students from our Saturday Performing Arts Courses presented a musical version of the Hans Christian Andersen story SNOW QUEEN. As Kay was swept into the Snow Queen's icy sleigh and stolen away to her frozen palace, Gerda, his best friend, set out on a brave journey to rescue him.
In October 2011 a group of Junior students aged 7 - 13 years brought Kenneth Grahame's beautiful novel 'WIND IN THE WILLOWS' to the stage in the Tony Boden Theatre in the form of the Broadway musical written by William Perry and Roger McGough. A beautifully produced show and a huge learning experience for all those involved.
As part of our 2011 Summer Courses, forty five students aged seven and over produced the entire Irita Kutchmy musical of 'The Lion, The Witch and The wardrobe' in just a week. The performances took place on Saturday 27th August in The Tony Boden Theatre, which was transformed into Narnia's Winter Landscape.
As part of our 2011 Summer Courses, senior students aged twelve and over produced the entire musical of Footloose in just a week. The performances took place on Saturday 6th August.
Throughout July 2011, students from our weekend performing arts course presented Judith Johnson's 'Scary Play'. The play was written especially for the National Theatre Connections group which helps to promote young talent in Britain.
Throughout July 2011, students from our weekend performing arts course presented Daisy Campbell's School Journey to the Centre of the Earth. A group of eight year old's headed for Alton Towers but a school trip became an oddyssey of paranoia.
From 14th to 20th April a very talented young cast performed the Arthur Miller play to sell out audiences in a transformed Tony Boden Theatre. The play was directed by Anna Sternberg and Designed by Alison Darke.
In April 2010 we staged an innovative production of William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' using almost every studios in our premises for a pre show staging, and told the story outside in our Courtyard Theatre and within The Tony Boden Theatre, transformed unrecognisably into a magical forest, complete with real trees and two tonnes of earth.
For the first ever of many times to follow, 'The Tony Boden Theatre' was transformed. On this occassion turned back to front and included a corridor of fear for the audience upon arrival as we celebrated Halloween 2009 with the spooky musical Dracula Spectacula.