We are all going on a Summer Holiday…with Nyree Kingsbury

Our annual Summer Youth Project is a fantastic opportunity for anyone aged 9 to 21 to work on a full scale production under the direction of a highly skilled creative team including a professional Director, Choreographer, Musical Director, Musicians and Technical.  The project lasts two weeks and ends with five performances on the Wyvern Stage from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th August.

Our previous Summer Youth Project’s have included: Grease (2016), Hairspray (2015), Bugsy Malone (2014) and Our House (2013). For our latest Inside Swindon Theatres Blog we sat down with Nyree Kingsbury who leads the Summer Youth Project to find out more about the project, what it involves and more!


Hi Nyree, Thank you very much for your time. What is the Summer Youth Project and what does it involve?

The Summer Youth Project is a two week musical theatre experience.  It’s a chance for young people to get together and learn something new, culminating in five shows on the Professional stage.


Hairspray (2015)

That sounds fantastic, Who is involved in the project?

Each year we gather a Creative team to work with the children and young adults.  Usually this involves a Creative Director, Choreographer, Musical Director and their assistants.  Also we have our own technical team who help mentor the technical participants.  We work with around 200 participants, both onstage and behind the scenes


Grease (2016)

Why did you choose Summer Holiday as this year’s performance?

We always look for something different for SYP and try our best not to repeat the shows!  We have been doing SYP since 1994 and have done twenty different titles in that time. However it is not just case of picking one that you like and going with it!  We have to apply for the Rights to put on the show which can sometimes involve dealing with companies abroad (eg. Grease) and certain shows are only released for brief period so you have to get in when you can (Hairspray).  We also have to consider its suitability for young people, how many parts there are, availability, the costs (we have to often hire sets and sometimes costumes, flying equipment etc) as some shows are more expensive than others.  It really can be a minefield!  Summer Holiday is a feel good show celebrating a bygone era.  It’s funny and fast paced, with great songs and lots of dancing – we hope the children enjoy it!


What do you enjoy most about SYP?

SYP is culmination of factors; from the planning stages, to auditions, rehearsals and finally the shows.  None of these would be possible without the people; whether they are the Creative team, the children, the staff at the Theatre, the Chaperones (who are amazing), and all the audiences, everyone is so positive and full of energy during the two weeks.  The Theatre is literally buzzing with activity and I love the atmosphere – it’s so exciting and you can’t help but be swept up in a wave of enthusiasm.  I am always so amazed at what can be achieved in such a short time by a group of committed and focussed people.  This will be my tenth SYP, and at the end of the last performance of each Project, I do shed a tear of happiness and pride (or it may be sheer exhaustion of course!).


Grease (2016)

What has been your best memory of SYP?


Hairspray (2015)

What can we expect in this year’s SYP?

Summer Holiday has a good fun vibe, with catchy tunes from the 60’s, retro costumes and lots of energetic dancing!  We hope you’ll be singing in the aisles and enjoying a great big dollop of British nostalgia.  Oh and also I’m hoping for a bus….who could want anything more?


Summer Holiday will be at the Wyvern Theatre  from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th August.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit: http://bit.ly/SummerHolidaySYP 

Follow the Wyvern Theatre on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SYP17

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