Farewell to club stalwarts

Judy Tribe and Cheryl Stewart at Alnwick Playhouse
Judy Tribe and Cheryl Stewart at Alnwick Playhouse

Two stalwarts of Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre have brought the curtain down on more than a decade of service.

Cheryl Stewart and Judy Tribe have decided to step down from the organisation, having worked together for the last 11 years.

The pair have overseen around 50 productions; the last one being Sweeney Todd earlier this month.

The duo will leave with some wonderful memories and have helped establish a strong youth-theatre group.

It all started from humble beginnings though.

Cheryl remembers: “It all started with The Wizard of Oz. Peter Brown was asked to ‘put on a musical’ by Steve Cowton, who was director of the Playhouse at the time, and he asked me to help with choreography.

“Judy was a mum of one of the children in the musical and the rest is history.”

Judy showed a passion for stage design and costumes, while Cheryl had a love for directing – as did Penny Brown for many shows also.

Peter was a whiz on the piano and the stage was set for a successful team that have seen 50 productions performed.

What started as one youth theatre turned into three groups – minis, junior and senior.

“It has gone from strength to strength,” said Judy.

“Originally each production was a musical, but recently youth theatre was encouraged to diversify into dramas. The children have been given more responsibility for shows, taking ownership and expressing their creativity by designing costumes and sets.

“The team have written some of their own plays and there has been a strong development with improvised pieces. We are leaving a thriving, energetic and highly-creative group of children, who are multi-talented.”