Ami back on tour

CHICHESTER Festival Youth Theatre stalwart Ami Stidolph is back in the county, treading the boards professionally in Oxfordshire Theatre Company’s tour of Alice In Wonderland.

For more than ten years, Ami was a regular with the Youth Theatre, appearing in a string of productions and winning the John Hyland Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to the Youth Theatre.

A former pupil at Chichester High School, Ami, now based in London, graduated from the Oxford School of Drama last July.

The Youth Theatre gave her some great highlights including The Wizard Of Oz on the main house stage plus promenade productions including The Hobbit and Arabian Nights.

“The promenade productions were an experience in themselves,” Ami recalls. “They were different every night!

“I left the Youth Theatre when I finally went to drama school when I was 19. It was quite a young and small drama school, but it was great training with smaller classes.”

Now she’s on the road with Oxfordshire Theatre Company: “They are specialists in taking theatre to people that would not normally get to see it because they are in remote locations. So we play in lots of village halls and some wonderful community centres and we have also done some arts centres and the odd theatre. It has been fantastic.

“When you go to village halls, it is like a really big thing for them. It is a real event, and the show is well catered for in being suitable for those kinds of venues. We pack everything up in a van and take the show with us to the next place. It’s a cast of three and two crew members. Five of us take three hours to put it all up and then two hours to take it down.”

Written by Neil Duffield, the 2006 winner of the Arts Council England Children’s Award ‘for work which displays excellence, inspiration and innovation in children’s theatre’, the new version of the classic Oxford-based tale combines puppetry, song and dance.

Performances are on February 25 at 4pm in The Hawth Studio Crawley (tickets 01293 553636) and on February 26 at 4pm in East Preston Scout Hut (tickets 01903 786928).