YMT blog

Youth Music Theatre UK - Paperboy

The Reviews are in and Paperboy is a HIT!


This past weekend, Youth Music Theatre UK's musical adaptation of Tony Macaulay’s much-loved memoir hit the stage for the first time at the Lyric Theatre Belfast.  Paperboy truly brought Tony’s childhood to life. It’s 1975 and 12 year old Tony dutifully goes about his paper round.  Belfast in the seventies is like the newspaper he delivers: everything is black and white, albeit orange and green.  There are bombings on the evening news, but he’s more interested in Doctor Who, the Bay City Rollers, outer space, and of course, the girl of his dreams: Sharon Burgess!

Comedian, Andrew Doyle, and Belfast singer-songwriter Duke Special perfectly combined narrative comedy with atmospheric music that nostalgicly takes you back in time, drawing you into Tony’s world.  Directors Steven Dexter and Dean Johnson briliantly brought young Tony’s thoughts, feelings and life overall into fruition.


Sold Out Shows Followed by Glowing Reviews

'West End transfer shouldn’t be out of the question for Paperboy' (Irish News)

'There's no mistaking quality when you see it and Sam Gibson as Paperboy Tony is a revelation. Amazing stage presence, terrific voice - he's the real deal. Like any good paperboy, he delivers' (Belfast Telegraph)

'A lot of plays have been written from the perspective of different sides of the conflict. Few adequately explore people who chose to walk the middle line, discovering and questionging all traditions.  Paperboy remails very true to Tony Macaulay’s history of peace building' (Alan in Belfast)

'There is a line a minute to bring a smile to your face' (Culture Hub)

'Charming and Imaginative.' (The Stage)

'The audience was swept along by our lovable paperboy Tony Macaulay'  (Belfast Times)

'Doyle's script and lyrics, Wilson's music, and the cast of thirty-five never miss a beat in their drive to entertain' (The Big List). 

Twitter Was Absolutely Buzzing After the Show!

'Having read @tonymacaulay's #Paperboy I was keen to see how it would translate to the @LyricBelfast stage. @DukeSpecial & @andrewdoyle_com have done a superb job, and the young @ymtuk cast were excellent. Took me back to my own youth & perfectly captured the era. 1st class show.' - @CrAm723

I laughed out loud, I shed a tear. How brilliant to be able to take my own son to see my childhood brought to life. #paperboy by @tonymacaulay and the fantastic talented cast from @ymtuk Wonderful show. - @IanWoodsSky

Absolutely loved #paperboy at the @LyricBelfast! So funny and full of our wonderful Belfast humour. Lots of emotion and poignancy too. Big fan of the book so was amazing to see it brought to life. Script and music were brilliant. Lovely to speak to @tonymacaulay after too! - @_mels13

Absolutely loved, laughed, clapped, cheered and nearly cried just once #PaperBoy @ymtuk @LyricBelfast a must see! - @SuzanneLea2

A Winter's Tale: A Fresh New Take on Shakespeare's Classic


 ‘In this tale, we see the potential young people have to change the world’ Director, Bronagh Lagan

A Winter’s Tale, playing at Rose Theatre Kingston from Aug 30 – 2 Sep, is a brand new musical fusing the essence of the Shakespearean classic with the genius of writer Nick Stimson, and composer Howard Goodall CBE.

What is A Winter’s Tale About?

This production breathes new life into what we think we know about Shakespeare’s original play. Music, by Emmy, BRIT and BAFTA award winning composer, Howard Goodall CBE, adds a whole new layer of emotion as it shifts the tone from dark, brooding passions, to sunshine and redemption.

This musical re-imagining of the play plots the tale of a despotic ruler’s jealousy spiralling dangerously out of control, of it consequences and betrayals but also, ultimately, of love, loyalty and redemption.  A Winter’s Tale is a celebration of young people and how they may repair the damage of the broken world they inherit.  It bursts with humour and song and, after some anger and turmoil, basks in the golden sun of a summer shore.

The Creatives speak ahead of the production saying…

"I am absolutely thrilled that YMT UK are bringing A Winter's Tale to The Rose Theatre Kingston (my local theatre). This story about the redemptive power of young people could not be more relevant to the world of 2018. Spoiler: Love Wins!"  -Howard Goodall CBE, Composer

“Really looking forward to making a start on Howard Goodall's epic score with this fabulous cast and creative team, it’s going to be a terrific piece of theatre.” -Greg Arrowsmith, Musical Director

We also caught up with some of the incredibly talented Cast members…

“It’s brilliant to be performing in a musical combining Shakespeare and Howard Goodall! The show is going to be fantastic, I can’t wait to get stuck into rehearsals!” -Rory M.

“Really looking forward to an amazing production with YMT and some amazingly talented people. I’m excited to be working with such a fantastic cast and creative team who have a wonderful vision for A Winter’s Tale” -Victoria S.

Casting Week…

The cast and creatives are ahead of the game and have already begun working on the production during casting week!  We have some fantastic photos and an epic trailer that gives you an idea of what this show is going to be all about!

Watch the trailer HERE!

Get your tickets to see this brilliant NEW musical HERE! It's not to be missed!

Just One Month Until YMT's 'Help! Get Me Out of This Musical' Hits the Stage!


‘Help! Get Me Out Of This Musical is a bonkers and funny love song to musical theatre’ says writer, John Nicholson

What is 'Help!' all about?

Playing at the South Hill Park Arts Centre, 10 – 12 August, the show’s electric music is loaded with the sounds and energy of any West End and Broadway classic, whilst bringing its own unique pizzazz!

Teenage life is full of its ups and downs, and hell-raiser Callum certainly makes sure of that. But one morning the ultimate school bully, wakes to find, to his growing horror, his entire world has been turned into a musical! Trapped, with no escape, in a world where people break into a song and dance routine at the slightest provocation, where no-one ever looks him in the eye because they're too busy turning out front!

Get your tickets HERE!

We caught up with the creatives ahead of the show...

‘The show is about a bully who finds himself in a world that has turned into a musical – it’s his worst nightmare. Everywhere around him people are singing in his face, dancing in his face – it’s like Stepford Wives meets La La Land, meets High School Musical’ – Musical Director, Adam Gerber.

“Working for YMT is a real treat for me. It’s an opportunity to work alongside some of the most ingenious and talented creatives in the business and with a supremely talented collection of young performers. And YMT shows never pull their punches!” –Writer, John Nicholson

“I’m thrilled to be joining YMT for the first time this summer. We have a fantastic cast and creative team and I can’t wait to get started!” –Choreographer, Julia Cave

Casting for Help!…

Casting week is when all of the cast and creatives get together to learn a bit of the music, movement and script and gives everyone a feel for the show!  While the young people are training hard, the creatives work to match up the actors with their roles.

Photos from the casting of 'Help! Get Me Out of This Musical'

At the casting for Help,we created a trailer all about the show complete with quotes from cast, creatives and shots of rehearsal. Check it out HERE!

Be sure to BOOK NOW to see this amazing BRAND NEW musical production!  You won't want to miss it!