Young actors receive message of support from Sir Ian McKellen
An award-winning cast of teenagers from Questors Youth Theatre is finding out what it is like to perform on an international stage.
They have joined a multi-national gathering of young actors at the World Festival of Youth Theatre, which is taking place this week in Vienna.
The ten youngsters from the West London company are presenting their acclaimed drama Cogner au Plafond, which uses a French setting to explore contemporary problems facing young people.
Before jetting off to Austria, the cast were thrilled to receive a good luck message from one of Britain’s best-known actors, Sir Ian McKellen.
“I wanted to send my very best wishes to everyone involved for a great performance and a wonderful trip to Vienna,” he said.
“I hope that while you are there you will make friends that outlast your visit and that you learn lots from the experience.
The play’s title – Cogner au Plafond - translates as “Bash
ing on the Ceiling”. It is billed as a poignant and funny tale of love, riots and French toilets.
It was written specially for Questors by Wanda Duszynska, who is directing the production with QYT tutor Dominique Gerrard.
The play is performed in a mixture of French and English and has already attracted considerable interest from local schools trying to encourage their pupils to develop language skills.
It has also won a CILT European Award for Languages, which was presented to the company earlier this year in a ceremony at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
It is an honour for the writer and cast, and further recognition of the talents of the theatre’s younger members.
“These are our stars of the future,” says Andrea Bath, Executive Director of The Questors. “And we're delighted that they’re so successful.”
As well as staging their own play, the Ealing youngsters, aged from 16 to 20, will be working alongside actors from other countries to create the festival’s final performance.
One of the cast, 16-year-old Ellen Gould, summed up their feelings: “This is a fantastic opportunity and we are all really excited. In addition to performing our play we will be taking part in workshops with young actors from all over the world. We are looking forward to meeting people from lots of different countries.”
When the group return to Ealing, they are hoping to put on an additional performance at Questors, to give their home audience another chance to see their ground-breaking production.
With thanks to Peter Gould, Questors
July 23, 2009