Youngsters in South Tyneside given stage to shine with new drama club

Members of the Customs House Youth Theatre at Jarrow School with Fiona Martin, deputy director of learning and participation at the Customs House, and David Fleetwood, a trustee of Hays Travel Foundation.
Members of the Customs House Youth Theatre at Jarrow School with Fiona Martin, deputy director of learning and participation at the Customs House, and David Fleetwood, a trustee of Hays Travel Foundation.

Talented performers in South Tyneside getting ready to work with showbusiness professionals after a new drama club was launched.

The Customs House Youth Theatre is to run an after-school club at Jarrow School - giving pupils the chance to develop their theatre and performance skills.

Hays Travel Foundation trustee David Fleetwood with Jarrow School pupil Lynice Hall, front, head of Year 7 Amy Crompton and Fiona Martin, deputy director of learning and participation at the Customs House, with members of the Customs House Theatre at Jarrow School.

Hays Travel Foundation trustee David Fleetwood with Jarrow School pupil Lynice Hall, front, head of Year 7 Amy Crompton and Fiona Martin, deputy director of learning and participation at the Customs House, with members of the Customs House Theatre at Jarrow School.

It is part of a three-year project funded by Hays Travel Foundation, which awarded the Customs House £17,230 to set it up.

The club will give youngsters the chance to put their skills into practice in shows, and earn nationally-recognised Arts Award qualifications in the process.

Year 10 pupils who are studying BTEC Performing Arts at the school, in Field Terrace, are currently able to join.

The club is managed by the learning and participation team at the Customs House.

We are thrilled to be working with these talented young people from Jarrow School and are excited to see them perform

Fiona Martin

Fiona Martin, deputy director for learning and participation at the Customs House, said: “We are thrilled to be working with these talented young people from Jarrow School and are excited to see them perform.”

Drama practitioner Seb Fumoleu is working with the pupils, aged 14 and 15, to develop their skills in a range of areas, including voice, improvisation, movement and approaches to acting techniques.

They will soon work with a writer to develop a 45-minute piece of drama, which they will perform at the Customs House.

A host of other plans have been made, including participation in next year’s National Theatre Connections, links with the senior section of the Customs House Youth Theatre, and future recruitement for the club.

The school’s head of Year Seven, Amy Crompton, said: “Jarrow School is delighted to be working with the Customs House on such a worthwhile project for our students, who are enjoying the opportunity of working with outside agencies.

“A huge thank you must also go to Hays Travel Foundation, which is responsible for funding this venture.”

Hays Travel Foundation trustee David Fleetwood said: “The application we received from the Customs House was a very exciting and different proposal, which exactly matched our objectives and the board of trustees was delighted to support it.

“We hope this project will help the students develop their self-confidence, their aspiration to succeed and learn new skills in a different but enjoyable way and hopefully enhance their life chances as a result.”