On Monday Steyning finally launched its own youth theatre with a little help from a famous fluffy companion.
Mitch Jenkins, artistic director of Sussex Youth Theatre and owner of five other venues across West Sussex, including Worthing, Shoreham and Littlehampton, will be bringing his classes to Steyning.
One of this year’s semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent with his dog Cally, Mitch celebrated the opening of the theatre at the Steyning Centre with local children in attendance.
The 42-year-old said: “Steyning has been crying out for a youth theatre, and since the first announcement about the new Steyning branch the phone has been ringing off the hook, we have had children signing up for taster sessions since May!”
Cally the Wonderdog made a special appearance and instead of a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, there was a balloon popping one in honour of her Guinness World Record.
On ITV, the Jack Russell managed to break a world record for a dog popping balloons, by taking on 100 balloons in just 42 seconds.
Mitch said: “We were on Britain’s Got Talent this year and took the world record title from an American dog. The judges are all really hands on and really nice.
“On the day, everyone really loved Cally. There were 18 kids who came along and they are all coming back. The Steyning Centre was really excited to have us there as well.”
Mitch was brought up in Washington where he recalls there being a lack of youth facilities in the area.
“There were never any youth groups. We started Sussex Youth Theatre three years ago and looking at these rural areas.”
Children who attend the group can expect to learn all the tricks of the theatre trade, including drama, mime, speech, poetry and much more.
“Eight of our kids are going to be in the new J.K. Rowling film,” he added.
Sussex Youth Theatre is for children aged six to 18 and classes will be every Monday, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, at The Steyning Centre in Fletchers Croft. Attendance is expected to be high, especially for the opening session, so booking a place in advance is essential.
All new students will receive a free taster session.
For more details or to book a free taster, visit www.sussexyouththeatre.co.uk or call 01903 602815 or 07788 497 779.
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