YOUNG people in the Forest displayed some “exceptional” acting and singing skills to produce two ‘plays in a day’ for a youth theatre’s half term comeback. 

Found in the Forest Youth Theatre is back in action after a four-year gap, with young people aged between eight and 18 being invited to take part in workshops at Cinderford’s The Wesley in October. 

The aspiring actors worked on two engaging plays - one based on a spooky haunted house for Halloween, and the other a thought provoking piece about the role of the media in modern society.

The event transformed the theatre space at The Wesley and showcased “the immense talent and dedication” of local young participants, group leaders said, as well as marking the return of the theatre which was forced to close in 2019 due to a lack of funding. 

The return of Found in the Forest was made possible by significant grant funding secured from Arts Council England by local arts charity Air in G (Arts in Rural Gloucestershire), of which it is a part, last September. 

New youth theatre director Abi Wright said she was “thrilled” to be able to provide a creative platform for young people in the Forest once again following the theatre’s “exciting debut” last month.

The first play, “Spooked,” for 8-12 year olds on Halloween, brought the audience on an eerie journey through the mysteries of a haunted house. 

Four teenagers decided to break in to the house at midnight. 

With “spine-tingling” moments, the play kept spectators on the edge of their seats as it unravelled the secrets hidden within its walls. 

The talented cast expertly brought the suspenseful storyline to life, showcasing their exceptional acting and singing skills. All made and performed in one day.

Following the hair raising ‘Spooked’, the Youth Theatre served up a delightful contrast with their second production, “No News is Good News” for 13-18 year olds. 

The play delved into the fascinating world of journalism at ‘The Dean Post’ shedding light on the dynamics, challenges, and responsibilities of the media. 

The daughter of the family secretly did a big deal with a big news corporation, which made the newspaper more sensationalised and angered forest locals. 

“No News is Good News” was a witty and engaging exploration of the inner workings of a newspaper, offering an insightful look into the ever-evolving landscape of news reporting and the clash between community and big corporations.

“I was thrilled to introduce ‘Found in the Forest’ Youth Theatre to our community,” said director Abi Wright. 

“Our goal is to provide a platform for young people to explore their creativity, develop their talents, and bring engaging stories to life on the stage. 

“Our Plays in a Day were just the beginning of what promises to be a fantastic journey filled with exciting productions and artistic growth. 

“Do come and join our Saturday classes as there are so many more projects and productions we will do in the community.”

The launch of the youth theatre at The Wesley has “ignited a spark” in the local arts scene, the group says, offering young performers an opportunity to hone their craft and share their passion with the world. 

With the success of the first two performances, the theatre’s future is “poised to be a bright one”, filled with “innovative performances and enriching experiences” for both the young actors and their audiences. 

“Found in the Forest is committed to providing a nurturing environment that fosters creativity, teamwork, and personal growth, making it the perfect place for young talents to shine and grow as performers and individuals,” Abi added.

The charity which runs the theatre, Arts in Rural Gloucestershire (Air in G), also supports local communities in putting on high quality arts events. 

For future productions, upcoming events, and more information about Found in the Forest Youth Theatre, follow the group on Facebook.

‘Found in the Forest’ Youth Theatre runs weekly Saturday classes at The Wesley in Cinderford starting this Saturday (November 11). The sessions are only £3 for 2 hours.