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Refurbishments backstage at Tolethorpe Youth Drama which runs alongside Stamford Shakespeare Company are funded by Mick George and National Lottery grants

A dramatic refurbishment has helped young actors feel ‘just the part’ at a theatre close to Stamford.

Tolethorpe Youth Drama gives children aged five to 18 experience of acting and drama at Rutland Outdoor Theatre, also the home of Stamford Shakespeare Company.

Thanks to recent funding from Mick George and the National Lottery, the ‘backstage’ areas at the theatre have benefited from a much-needed makeover.

Old flooring was replaces, walls repainted and new changing cubicles installed for the young actors.

Theatre manager David Fensom said: “The roof had been leaking, causing the walls to become damp, and the toilets, sinks and other basic facilities hadn’t been changed for 40 years.

“Now we have separate changing facilities for the girls and boys, laminate floors that can be kept clean more easily and the whole green room area, as we call it, looks fresher, brighter and more professional for the actors.”

Principal of Tolethorpe Youth Drama, Mary Benzies, said the refurbishments came at an exciting time when the youth element of the theatre was stepping into the spotlight.

She said: “This year we are launching our Summer Arts Festival with week-long workshops for children between July 29 and August 9.

“These will provide the opportunity to meet professionals including television and West End actors, camera crew, and to use the outdoor stage that is being created for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.”

For details visit the website for Tolethorpe Youth Drama, or look at their Summer page.

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