Buxton Opera House Young Company makes its debut in The Accordion Shop

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After beating stiff competition to win a place in the National Theatre Connections Festival, Buxton Opera House’s Young Company are gearing up for their opening performance.

After beating stiff competition to win a place in the National Theatre Connections Festival, Buxton Opera House’s Young Company are gearing up for their opening performance.

The Accordion Shop will be presented from March 10 to 14 at the Pavilion Arts Centre where the company rehearses weekly.

The play tells the story of what happened to a long-established family business and residents during the 2011 London riots and lootings.

Cush Jumbo’s play was written with young people in mind and explores issues of racism, class and austerity, as well as cultural factors like criminality, hooliganism, breakdown of social justice and gang culture.

NT Connections Festival provides theatre students with the experience of professional theatre-making, mirroring that of a professional company producing a new play in any theatre in the country. Part of the ingenuity of the festival is that it also engages top writers to produce fresh and in some cases ground-breaking works that could go on to become modern classics.

Opera House Chief Executive Simon Glinn said: “The Accordion Shop is a great, pithy piece and a perfect opening production for the new Buxton Opera House Young Company.

“We offer young people from across the High Peak region the opportunity to develop their performance skills, gain experience in all aspects of marketing and technical theatre, whilst engaging artistically with issues affecting young people in modern England.”

Following the premiere of The Accordion Shop, the play will be toured to Salford’s Lowry Theatre. As well as acting, participants (aged 12 to 25) will create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards and stage-manage their performances.

Craig Sanders, Buxton Opera House Learning & Participation Officer said: “The significance of this production is huge for Buxton Opera House as it is the first year the Young Company has taken part in this nationwide celebration of youth theatre.

“We have a wide range of young people working on the production from 12 to 21 years of age and each person has risen to the challenge. This is also the first time the Opera House has supported emerging theatre design talent as we have an amazingly creative third year degree student from Nottingham Trent University designing the set and costumes for our production.

“Rehearsals have been jam packed with activity and the young performers have had to get to grips with demanding physical theatre routines, a set that they literally throw themselves around on, character development, shadow puppetry and some rather interesting digital innovations!”

Tickets for The Accordion at the Pavilion Arts Centre cost £10 and £12. Contact 0845 127 2190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk