Troup is making a song and dance of its return to the Ashcroft

Gang show: the Younger Generation are seeking new cast members for its return to the Ashcroft Theatre in 2023

The Younger Generation Theatre Group is seeking new members to join its cast for its upcoming shows.

YG couldn’t perform during the pandemic years and according to one of their organisers, “During that time a lot of our core cast members turned 18 years old or moved away.

“We are now trying to relaunch, but what we need more than anything else is enthusiastic young people who would like to join us, make some great friendships and show off to their hearts content at our rehearsals in Purley every Sunday.”

The Younger Generation is a performing arts club for nine to 18-year-olds. It was formed more than 30 years ago to give children in south London the chance to perform on a professional stage.

The group’s shows are always a team effort: there are no individual stars. “All of our cast are ‘stars’, which is why in our programme we always have the cast in alphabetical order and, in the finale, everyone is dressed the same.”

YG rehearse the show every Sunday afternoon at St Mark’s Church Hall in Purley, starting in April and culminating in performing in August. For many years this was in the Ashcroft Theatre at the Fairfield Halls, but while that was being refurbished, YG performed at the Harlequin Theatre at Redhill.

“Next year we are hoping to return to the Ashcroft.”

The shows include many styles of dance – tap, ballet, street, modern – and a huge variety of music. Everyone is involved in at least six numbers. Those involved in YG make life-long friendships, and often continue with the group after they turn 18 to be involved as leaders.

YG is affiliated with the National Operatic and Dramatic Association and received the NODA Flame Award for “Outstanding Training for Young People in the Fields of Music and Dance”. They also received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. YG’s troup have taken part in a range of high-profile events, including the Lord Mayor’s Parade, London’s New Year’s Day Parade and Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

Let’s dance: keen singers, performers and dancers are all welcome at YG

YG is a registered charity, but they try to make the annual subscription as low as is feasible to cover costs – a fraction of the cost of similar stage school clubs.

Organiser Diane Rexstrew-Berry says, “If you are someone who is just itching to get a chance to perform on a stage, or if you are that person’s parent, guardian, uncle, aunt, or grandparent, then please have a look at the Younger Generation website, where you will find a link to videos of some our performances and you can use the online form there to contact us.”

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