Peterhead’s very own Red Brick Theatre Group is celebrating ten years of treading the boards in the Blue Toon.
The group was the brainchild of Julie Cordiner and her son Matt, with nephew Jamie Robertson, after performing in a successful local fundraising cabaret called ‘Wishing on a Melody’.
The fact there wasn’t a drama/musical theatre group at that time, and the success of the show, encouraged them to form the group.
The hope was to let the young people of Peterhead and the surrounding area, aged eight years and over, showcase theri singing, acting and dancing talents, as well as give them the chance to learn about directing, producing, choreography, light and sound technology.
They designed a logo, brainstormed the name and, after various meetings and with other adult volunteers coming on board, they were ready to begin.
They opened the doors on August 15, 2007 with 37 children aged from ten to 18 years and performed their first ever show called ‘A Night at the Movies’, raising money for a new lighting bar for the Theatre Users Group.
The show was a sell-out and a huge success, raising £2,000 for charity, and this encouraged them to continue and it wasn’t long before the group had a waiting list for the next season.
Over the past ten years Red Brick Theatre Group has performed and donated to local charities and projects in and around Peterhead.
In 2009 they performed ‘Peter Pan’, with the £5,000 raised going to the special nursery, Peterhead Maternity Hospital and Great Ormond Street.
The following year, Boddam Development Group benefited from the £2,000 raised from ‘High School Musical’.
‘Now That’s What I Call Red Brick Music’ in 2011 saw Peterhead Respite and Peterhead Voluntary Carers recei ve £1,00 each.
‘Wizard of Oz’ in 2012 raised £2,000 for young Peterhead rugby player Daniel Gallagher, while in 2013 the performance of ‘Fantasia’ raised £2,000 for Rock Challenge.
‘Cats’ was performed in 2014, raising £2,000 for Grange Park Care Home, with ‘Grease’ in 2015 netting £1,000 each for Peterhead Amateur Swimming Club and CLAN.
Earlier this year, their performance of ‘Oliver’ say a £2,000 donation handed over to Buchanhaven Heritage Centre.
In between those performances the group has also held a Battle of the Sexes (2009), Christmas Crackers (2008), A Magical Mystical Mash-up, Winter wonderland (Step up for Dylan), Disney (2000) and Showcase (2010).
A number of workshops have also been held - a High School Musical Workshop, Disney Workshop and Musical Theatre Workshop, with further donations being given to local causes - Meethill Model Club (£500), Kirkburn Court (£300),Wyndwell Care Home (£300), Grange Park Care Home (£300) and Buchanhaven Hearts OAP Christmas party (£100).
Over the years the group has also performed at local events and taken part in various fundraisers and hopes to continue that involvement in the years ahead.
The group currently boasts a total of 100 members between the ages of eight and 26. Its aim is to raise money for charities and projects in and Ofaround Peterhead while promoting, encouraging and building confidence with the young people involved. It is a community group and no audition is required to join.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the adult volunteers who help run the group and take on directing, technical work, set building, costume, chaperoning, vocal coaching to name but a few.
And as for the talented cast members, some of them are now performing across the country as well as here in Peterhead, or are now directing their own shows.
This year Red Brick Theatre Group is taking part in the Aden een fireworks parade, courtesy of Shell and Theatre Modo. The group is also hoping to have a team in Relay for Life in 2017, while a few surprises are also in store for the year ahead.
This season’s show is ‘Back To The 80’s’, a lively fun action-packed musical to be performed on May 31 and June 1,2, and 3, 2017 - an apt show to celebrate the tenth season.
But a call for help has been made to the public to ensure the show goes ahead.
The group is in dire need of new premises in which to store its costumes, as where they are at the moment is damp. If any one can help, or knows someone who can help, please contact rbtg@live,com or the Facebook page Red Brick.
Meanwhile, the group has issued a very big thank-you to the community and local business for supporting it over the years and for the community for turning out to see the shows.
They’re now looking forward to keeping the folk of Buchan entertained for another ten years!