History

The Gantry Youth Theatre began in 1989 at the Gantry Arts Centre, Southampton. By 1993 it had grown to such an extent that the youth theatre needed its own premises and the Arches Drama Studio was opened by the Australian actor Ian Smith (Harold Bishop in Neighbours).

Many productions were staged including “The Real Inspector Hound” by Stoppard, “Fear and Misery in the Third Reich” by Bertolt Brecht, “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare and “Ice Palace” by Lucinda Croxton.

In 1996, GYT moved to new premises at Maddison Court, Southampton. When these premises were sold for re-development, GYT found a new home based at Ichen College, Bitterne, Southampton. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Bob Thomson and Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, both performed at the Gantry Arts Centre were the last productions rehearsed at Maddison Court.

GYT’s first production rehearsed at Itchen College was “Our Day Out“ and the youth theatre received a personal message of support from its author Willy Russell. The youth theatre was invited by the Crime Prevention Unit to perform before HRH the Princess Royal at the Police Training Unit in Netley. A number of Nominations and Awards have been received by both Performers and Directors at the Gantry Youth Theatre.

After several years at Itchen College, GYT moved to its current home of Bitterne Park School, in part given Bitterne Park’s new sixth form theatre that we are able use for our major productions.

Recent productions like “Alice Through a Broken Lens“(2012) was a promenade show that literally took the audience around the venue. It also won 2 curtain call awards and received a further two nominations. Other recent summer productions have included “The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe“and “The Wind in the Willows“. Members and tutors have continued to be nominated for, and have won, awards for their acting and directing.

Theatrescope, our Saturday musical theatre group has grown over the years, staging many productions from “Little Shop of Horrors“, “Oklahoma“ to “Oliver“!

At the end of each Summer and Autumn term each group entertains parents, carers and friends during a Showcase event – a chance for everyone to get together and see what’s been happening at the Gantry Youth Theatre. This year we will be staging our first Xmas Bonanza!