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Dramatic success for Lowestoft students

PUBLISHED: 11:55 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:28 05 July 2010

WITH only six actors and just £6 a week collectively to hire a venue, the Lateral Artistes had relatively humble beginnings.

But the once fledging Lowestoft drama group are now making their stage presence known around East Anglia, as well as securing thousands in grants and a theatre residency.

WITH only six actors and just £6 a week collectively to hire a venue, the Lateral Artistes had relatively humble beginnings.

But the once fledging Lowestoft drama group are now making their stage presence known around East Anglia, as well as securing thousands in grants and a theatre residency.

Lateral Artistes, who are Ones to Watch for 2009 are a group of Kirkley High School students who bought their ambition to set up a drama club outside school to fruition.

The brainchild of students Bobbie Waddell and Kacey Baker, the pair recruited other like minded pupils to join them, including those interested in sound, lighting, advertising and photography, as well as acting.

Last year the team represented Lowestoft at a youth celebration event at Ipswich and have performed two sell out performances at the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield.

Their success is testament to their enthusiasm, which has helped them attract more than £4,000 of self-generated funding from Lowestoft Together and Suffolk County Council, amongst others.

Bobbie, 16, explained: “There's not much to do with drama outside school and we don't get much in school either, so we sat down and came up with ideas of a place we could use and we decided on Whitton Hall,” said Bobbie.

“There were six of us first of all and at our first Christmas performance in 2007 we had an audience of 20,” added Kacey 15.

She added: “The group put in £1 each a week to keep using the venue, but then we had to change it to £2 a week as we thought the group would run out of money.

“Then we wrote a letter to The Beach and Help An East Coast Child gave us £400, which really started us off and we were able to buy t-shirts and spotlights as well. But before we had a chance to use them James Reeder from Enterprise Lowestoft offered his help and said we could use the Seagull for performances.”

Every production highlights social issues and so far they have touched upon the contrast of a rich and poor Christmas The next, on March 19 and 20, will focus on the implications of smoking, drugs, bullying and peer pressure.

The Lateral Artistes meet on a Thursday evening and Sunday at the Seagull Theatre in Morton Road to rehearse, attracting members between the ages of 13 and 19, who are so committed they even help to clean the theatre.

The group, which also includes Carlos Santos, 15 and Gareth Pitchers, 15, said they were all really proud of their progress so far.

“We're just excited to perform and I love the effect it has on people who often want to join afterwards,” said Bobbie.

“It's two years before we start having to think about university, it's a big part of our life and we want it to carry on. It's also really healthy as drama really helps you let off steam,” added Kacey.

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