Dacorum-based Gobstoppers Children’s Theatre Company marks its 20th anniversary this year and began a programme of celebrations by staging an epic production of Les Miserables featuring no fewer than 144 children.
The production at Berkhamsted School’s Centenary Hall, Berkhamsted school was the first time that directors Chris and Victoria Williams have incorporated all four of their performing arts groups, which included children from the ages of four to 18.
The quality of the show was that of a professional production in all areas – lighting, sound, scenery, acting, superb singing from the chorus and a full 16 piece orchestra.
This was a top notch production that displayed the talent of children who had trained with the Gobstoppers ethos. The cast benefitted from workshops with West End cast members Jeff Nichols and Kirsty Hoiles, who also had roles in the film made of the hit show.
“Audience thought that we had called in professionals to take the leading roles but were stunned to find that all the cast were all local children who had been with Gobstoppers since the age of four,” said Victoria.
Gobstoppers began in 1994 at Woodhall Farm with just 12 children.
Twenty years later the group has nearly 200 members in youth theatre, GCSE & A Level drama and LAMDA classes which run at the Boxmoor Playhouse and at their drama studio in Berkhamsted. They have produced more than 80 major productions in the area and have toured nationally.
There is no audition to become a member of Gobstoppers and children attend from Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring and Kings Langley.