Flashback Friday: Dolman Youth Theatre – St Trinians, Dolman Theatre, Newport (December 2011)

In the early noughties, comic strip artist Ronald Searle’s famous creations, The Girls of St Trinians made a surprise return to the big screen with two new films. The film series (inspired by Searle’s cartoon strip) had originally launched in the 1950s and became a regular box office attraction into the next two decades.

Following the noughties movies, a stage adaptation by David Barrett found its way into several theatres, including Newport’s Dolman Theatre of which the Dolman Youth Theatre presented a version from December 8-10 2011.

A promotional flier for St Trinians which ran at the Dolman Theatre in December 2011 Image: Phil Mansell

Andy Howells reviewed the presentation at the time.

Dolman Youth Theatre, St Trinians Review (December 8, 2011)

Ronald Searle’s comic creations – The Girls Of St. Trinians are brought kicking and screaming into the 21st Century at the Dolman Theatre this week. Recreating all the fun that made the movies of the 1950s family favourites, The Dolman Youth Theatre’s production of David Barrett’s script retains all the classic comedy with a hint of modernism

The story follows new girl Trixie Pilkington–Witherspoon who is inducted into the Upper Third Girls “Sisterhood of Liberated Female Juveniles”. The girls have several crosses to bare including the boys  from Trinity Tower that are invading their space, the strict Miss Broome, a strange looking Matron and two 5th year bullies in the shape of Kate and Clarissa.

Ellie Mumford displays a lot of comic charm as Trixie while Natty Neiring, Katie Yeo and Hollie Flannigan head the Upper Third Girls that stir up continual trouble for the fabulous Emma Trott’s fearsome Miss Broome.

Rhys Davies comical portrayal of St Trinians Head Mistress Trumpington-Trumpington gains many laughs throughout the show as do the marvellous two hander sequences featuring two of the shows younger stars Matthew Clifford and James Thomas – an aspiring double act if there ever was one!

As I left the theatre I overheard one lady remark of the ensemble cast “They are the future of the theatre” and she’s right, these young stars are a credit to the production team and certainly know how to put on an entertaining show for the whole family.

  • Flashback Friday was written and compiled by Andy Howells.
  • St Trinians image by Phil Mansell

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