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Theatre Thrives for the Youths of Cumbria- or does it?

Theatre is rich in Cumbria, with societies constantly raising the bar for amateur performances.

Following glowing reviews of Whitehaven and District Amateur Operatic Society’s Addams Family production, it only feels right to talk about the incredible theatrical performances in our area.

Witham Amateur Operatics Society hit the nail on the head with their sell-out performance of Shrek: The Musical that ran for 5 days back in October, with the show being hailed as an “all-singing, all-dancing spectacular”.

Another audience hit was Whitehaven Theatre Group’s September 2021 performance of Kinky Boots, with multiple nights being sellouts, accredited to amazing performances and scenery on behalf of the group.

So, if shows are so brilliant in our area, why isn’t the theatrical scene more popular amongst youth?

Young people are statistically less likely to go to the theatre, with almost a quarter of young adults opting out of the experience completely for more convenient means.

This is particularly prominent following lockdown, with a new survey stating that a third of young people are less likely to visit theatres in person following the return to normal life.

Another common explanation is price. While more relevant in city areas where tickets may be £35 at the least, the price of theatre tickets can still be unappealing to young people.

This is contrasted by the sheer amount of young people taking part in performing arts. Shows and musicals in Cumbria are chock-a-block with fantastic young stars.

Whitehaven Theatre Group’s upcoming pantomime is set to feature a hugely talented roster of actors, with a lineup of youngsters to accompany them.

With beautiful venues like the Theatre By The Lake and the renovated Rosehill Theatre, Cumbria has the capacity for a thriving theatrical scene.

Groups like Witham Amateur Operatics Society were established over 100 years ago. The history and culture of our local theatre is rich, and the effort put in by societies to maintain this legacy is staggering.

You’d be surprised about the calibre of performance readily available in our area. Don't miss out - go check it out!

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