Young Performers bring literary classic to the Grand Theatre stage

Young people from Wolverhampton last night took to the Grand Theatre stage to perform George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM, adapted by Peter Hall.

The young people are all students of the Grand Arena Youth Theatre, an initiative set up by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and the Arena Theatre on Wulfruna Street.

Grand Arena Youth Theatre is just one of the ways that the Grand Theatre continues to reach out to the community and involve as many people, especially young people, as possible in the arts. The Youth Theatre’s aim is to introduce and involve its members in the dramatic arts with a heavy focus on acting technique, improvisation and physical theatre – a practice which isn’t as readily available in extracurricular activity such as dance or Musical Theatre.

As part of the Grand Theatre’s 125th anniversary celebrations this year, Grand Arena Youth Theatre performed their first pre-existing text, George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, adapted for the stage by Peter Hall. Grand Arena Youth Theatre practitioner and Animal Farm director, Fran Richards, said:

“Directing Animal Farm has been an absolute joy. It has been a real privilege to see the young people grow and develop through every rehearsal and really get to grips with the complex subject matter.

"When the Grand Arena Youth Theatre started in 2016, we set out to offer the young people of Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas a quality insight into the theatre making world, when they are so predominantly only exposed to Musical Theatre.

"To me Animal Farm was the epitome of what we have been working towards since the Youth Theatre began and we are looking forward to bringing more exciting and engaging theatre created by Young People to the audiences of Wolverhampton”.

Creative Learning Coordinator at the Grand Theatre, James Collins, added:

“Our Youth Theatre members along with our practitioners have been working incredibly hard for the last 4 months on Animal Farm, this hard work and huge effort was clear for all to see during their performance in front of a full audience.

"I could not be more proud of them and what they have achieved with such a challenging piece of theatre, I’m hoping this experience will inspire them to develop their incredible talents even further.”

The summer term of Grand Arena Youth Theatre is now on sale, with some places still available for the Junior group (ages 8 – 13) from 6pm – 7:30pm and for the senior group (ages 14 – 18) 8pm – 9:30pm weekly beginning Monday 3 June.

For more information and to book a place for your child please contact Lizzie Salisbury on 01902 57 33 20 or by email at


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