Treading the boards with GADS summer youth theatre workshops

By Colin Cartmell-Browne

Youth Cast and Directors. Picture by Colin Cartmell-Browne

GOSFORTH Amateur Dramatic Society (GADS) celebrated their tenth anniversary of week-long drama workshops, in August.

Dozens of children from Gosforth and the surrounding area got the chance to take part in a week long drama workshop run by GADS, August 8 to 14.

Each day the children took part in a workshop on a different aspect of theatre and drama with the intention of putting on a performance on the Saturday.

cut throat business

Cut throat business. Picture by Colin Cartmell-Browne

This year the production was The String of Pearls written and directed by Matthew Harper and support by Caia van den Elzen, both alumni members of the Youth Workshops. Mr Harper contacted GADS and asked to run the workshops, something they were only too happy to agree to.

The children were given the opportunity to either be a cast member or part of the backstage crew. The focus was on having fun while learning essential theatre skills.

Karen Polmear, Chair of GADS, said: “The workshops were set up to provide the range of skills needed within the society, particularly for the young people involved with our annual pantomime. We have more time during the workshop to train them and work on the necessary skills which we might not have time for during pantomime rehearsals.”

GADS Cast and Crew. Photo by Colin Cartmell-Browne

GADS cast in action. Picture by Colin Cartmell-Browne

Tom Morath, Youth Theatre Director added: “The emphasis was very much on having fun. Which most children seem to do, some coming back year after year.”

Holly Cartmell-Browne, one of the children attending the workshop said: “I think it’s really good to help teach children dramatic theatre. I’ve had loads of fun.”

Jim Polmear, member of GADS, was keen to point out that none of the workshops would have been possible without the support each year of various companies and organisations.

This year GADS were lucky enough to receive a grant from The Hadfield Trust.

Mr Polmear said: “This means costs to parents are kept really low.”

Both Mr and Mrs Polmear see this as particularly important. They see the workshops as working within the community and ensuring community involvement.

A more recent development for GADS was the setting up of the Youth Theatre Group back in February this year.
Run by Mr Morath, the group meet during term time on a Friday night from 7-9pm at Gosforth Village Hall.

More information about GADS can be found on their website; or by emailing

For information about the Youth Theatre Group email:


Update: GADS have booked next years workshop already- it is due to start on Monday 7th August 2017. Contact GADS for further information.