Curtain up on Debbie’s home town stage aim

Deborah Parkinson, who is setting up a new youth theatre in Kirkham
Deborah Parkinson, who is setting up a new youth theatre in Kirkham
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A Fylde actress is aiming to help young people in her home town follow in her footsteps after setting up a youth theatre for 11- to 16-year-olds.

Debbie Parkinson, born and bred in Kirkham, has established the Fylde Coast Youth Theatre Company at the town’s community centre and is delighted to have quickly attracted a full roster of recruits.

A former pupil of The Willows primary school and St Bede’s High School, Lytham, Debbie, 27, is proud of her roots and is eager to provide what she hopes will be a boost to the community as well as the performance aspirations of a host of youngsters.

“I want to give the youth of Fylde a voice there can express creatively in a safe, but fun, environment and I have been delighted with the response,” said Debbie, who acts under the name Debbie O’Hare and has a string of theatre credits to her name after gaining a BA Hons degree in physical theatre from the East 15 Acting School in London.

Last year, she featured in a production of the play Shake It Up Baby by Suzan Holder – wife of Slade lead singer Noddy – and Debbie intends that the first performance by the Youth Theatre will be an original Christmas pantomime written by Suzan, using youth issues at the heart of the story with characters developed by the company.

After that, the spring and summer term to include monologue work with youth matters again at its heart, allowing the youngsters to be creative.

“Alongside this we will also be writing, rehearsing and performing our summer show, while I also will include master classes throughout the year which will be led by working actors,” said Debbie, who also has teaching as well as acting experience.

“As well as developing acting skills and confidence building, with at least two shows a year at a local theatre, I also believe that this will help to curb the problems of youths on the streets. Places have been limited to 19 to ensure each company member gets the most out of the experience.”

The company at the Community Centre every Thursday from September 15 at 5.45pm. Details from Debbie on 07581 344554.