Whether you were watching in your best designer dress, or hanging out in Crocs and socks, the Young Actors Company film premiere event was a night to remember.
After a term of fast learning and digital creativity, WCTT’s Young Actors Company celebrated in style with a Zoom-based, three-film premiere night, on 29 July 2020.
The actors and their audience joined the event from their homes, their gardens and even their staycations, tuning in to see three original short films – all written and produced during lockdown – introduced by creative producer, Andy Alty, and the three directors. Members of the company also contributed to panel discussions after each screening.
Act One was up first with The Fairground, a haunting tale with magical twists. Reflecting on themes of frustration, anxiety and imprisonment, Act One harnessed their real life experiences of lockdown. Conjuring a metaphorical fairground ride that was moving and suspenseful, they celebrated the power of connection and creativity. Proof that you can dance your way out of any situation, the film’s message communicated young people’s desire for change.
Bursting with comedy and energy, Act Two decided to shake things up with a lockdown cabaret. From a cheeky sketch featuring Her Majesty the Queen and the Prime Minister, to an ‘unfortunate’ yoga class, this film certainly tickled the audience’s funny bones. Following the premiere, the plan is for this non-stop cabaret to go on a virtual tour, entertaining care home residents across Merton and beyond.
The final film in the trilogy was Act Three’s poignant and highly topical, Isolation. An idea conceived before the events surrounding George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations took place, this powerful movie brought together the reality of young people’s lives in the COVID-19 world and the spectre of racism. Our eldest group of actors showed us that remote filmmaking does not diminish the sheer power of performance – or lessen the impact of using drama as social comment.
All three films were hugely entertaining, enjoyable and thought-provoking, highlighting what’s possible for youth theatre in the current situation: if you’d like to watch them, or you’re interested in sharing them with members of your school, theatre or other organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.