Funding saves local community theatre performance

Our support has boosted young people’s skills and confidence while making the arts more accessible to the Barrow upon Soar community.

The £2,000 donation has helped the Barrow Youth Theatre group secure its rehearsal and performance space for 2022, giving young people the opportunity to participate in the village’s annual musical.

It also means the group can make a limited number of free tickets available to people who wouldn’t normally have access to arts like the theatre. This includes those from lower-income households and those with caring responsibilities.

The theatre group plays a vital role in the local community, both for the young people involved in the performance and for family, friends and local audiences who enjoy watching the popular shows. The four performances of Legally Blonde the Musical taking place in November are expected to sell out, with all ticket profits going towards production costs for 2023.

Barrow Youth Theatre forms part of the Barrow upon Soar Community Association (BUSCA), a registered charity that organises and runs community activities across the village. The award-winning theatre group was formed in 2003 as the youth wing of Barrow Panto Group. It has around 60 young members, all coached by volunteers with expertise in the performing arts and theatre production.




A significant rise in venue-hire costs had threatened the group’s survival this year, with fears of the winter musical being cancelled. Thanks to British Gypsum’s donation, the youth theatre’s performance venue at a local school has been secured for another year, meaning parents, friends, and local community members can attend.

Abi Crossley, Director of Barrow Youth Theatre, said: “The young people who participate in all aspects of youth theatre activities gain hugely from the opportunities that are on offer.

“It is very rewarding to see the boost in confidence that comes from performing as well as the development of all sorts of life skills such as leadership, teamwork, empathy and communication. Some of the young people also gain specific skills with their involvement with lighting, sound, costume, make up and stage management. It is not uncommon for members to make careers on stage in any of these branches of the performing arts.

“Barrow is a large village without a village hall or other community building. Since the school significantly raised its hire charges, the youth theatre was only able to afford to use this facility because of the generosity of British Gypsum.” 

British Gypsum strives to be a good neighbour to the communities living and working around each of its sites, and supports local charitable projects that leave a lasting positive legacy through the Building Better Communities programme.