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NEW GROUP LAUNCH
A new over 16 group is to be launched this spring with Kieran. There are limited places available for a FREE trial session on Wednesday 26th April 7-9pm at Quad Studios. Please Apply Now to book your slot.
WE LOST ELIJAH - TICKETS ON SALE
Don't forget that our brilliant Over 16s will be performing 'We Lost Elijah' on Friday 29th & Saturday 30th July 2016 at Wreake Valley Academy, Syston. Tickets are now on sale so contact Melissa on 07921861540 to purchase yours today! Adults are charged at £7.50, OAPs & children £6 and Urban members £4.
MUSIC VIDEO UPDATE
The Urban song has been written. The backing track has been chosen. The filming has been completed. Are you ready for the very first Urban music video? All will be revealed in December at our exciting variety performance!
CURVE MONOLOGUE SLAM
Urban member James Fisher is one of only five young actors in the East Midlands who has been selected to perform in the prestigious monologue slam at the Curve theatre next month! If you would like show your support, purchase your ticket here. We would love to see you!
AUDITIONS
Members have been attending auditions for starring roles in a variety of projects. A selection of members auditioned for a feature film at Quad Studios and our Over 16s auditioned for a new channel 4 series being cast by the 'Game of Thrones' and 'Star Wars' casting director. Urban has received impressive feedback and we wish all auditionees the best of luck!
NEW URBAN TUTOR
We would like to give a huge welcome to new Urban tutor Kieran! Kieran has many years acting experience and will be teaching a selection of workshops during Melissa's maternity leave.
WE LOST ELIJAH
Join us on 29th & 30th July at Wreake Valley Academy, Syston as our talented Over 16s perform 'We Lost Elijah' written by Ryan Craig. What happened to Elijah? And will anybody find him? Tickets on sale now! Contact Melissa on 07921861540 to book.
URBAN TUTOR ON TV
Urban tutor, Shelley Draper, is starring in the latest TV advert by Oxfam to promote 'Dressed By The Kids Day' 2016. Check out the advert here.
IT'S NEARLY FILMING TIME
Expect rap and whole lot of attitude by our Barkby & City groups in what we have no doubt, will be a brilliant (and hilarious) pop music video all about acting and being an Urban member. The final product will be premiered in December at our variety performance. More info to follow soon!
SPACES AVAILABLE
We currently have limited spaces available in our Under 12's group who meet every Saturday at 10am-12pm in Barkby, Leicester. Contact us for more info!
2016 PERFORMANCES
It is a year not to be missed here at Urban! Throughout 2016 we are creating an amazing music video with a top Nottingham filmmaker, our Over 16's will be performing a fantastic play in July and to top it all off, all of our members will be performing in a variety show in mid-December! Keep your eyes peeled for more details!
URBAN GRADUATES ON TV
Urban graduates, Lewis Meagor & Lucas Hayward have recently featured on our TV screens! Lewis starred in 'The Choir Reunion' on BBC2 in December and Lucas starred in Channel 4's 'The Undateables' throughout January. Check out a clip of The Choir Reunion final performance here. Great work guys!
MEMBERS AUDITION FOR FILM
Urban members recently had the opportunity to audition for a top casting director for a new Channel 4 film. We wish all members good luck and will be keeping our fingers crossed!
UNDER 12S - WE WANT YOU!
If you are aged 8-11 and have a passion for acting then please get in touch! There are limited spaces available in our under 12's group who meet every Saturday 10am-12pm. If you or your child would like to get involved then please get in touch to arrange a FREE trial session.
REBECCA CAST IN ADVERT!
Urban member Rebecca has just been cast in an advert for Oakfield Construction to be screened on Notts TV! Well done Rebecca!
URBAN MEMBER CAST IN SHORT FILM
We would like to say a huge congratulations to Urban member Keir who was cast in a key role for a concussion awareness film! Filming took place in Coalville. We can't wait to see the finished product!
URBAN GRADUATE GETS SCHOLARSHIP
Urban graduate Jurell has recently been awarded a scholarship for the highly acclaimed Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. He was one of only three actors ever to receive this prestigious scholarship from BAFTA. Moreover, he will be receiving one-to-one mentoring and support by BAFTA members. Click the link for more.
MAHALIA - A RISING STAR!
Also an Urban graduate, Mahalia has chased her music dreams and is currently the lead vocalist for Rudimental's new song ' We The Generation'. Go Mahalia! To see the video, click here and check out her most recent article here.
URBAN MAKES THE PRESS
Our Over 16s recently wowed audiences in their performance of Project LE1. A fantastic article has been written about the show both online at the Arts in Leicestershire website and in the Syston Town News. Check out our review here.
PROJECT LE1
Are you ready for Project LE1? O the 12th & 13th September our Over 16s will be performing an original, innovative and interactive promenade project. Your help is needed to solve a young girl's murder. To purchase tickets, please go the Contact Us page. Tickets are £8.50 (£5.00 to Urban members).
LIFE AFTER URBAN
Urban to host a one-off, exclusive event with talks from Urban graduates. We are excited to share their individual, successful journeys with current members and hope their stories will be an inspiration! Go team Urban!
URBAN MEMBER CREATES FILM
Owen, a longstanding Urban member, has followed his creative dreams and has put plans in motion to create his very own film! Auditions were held last week and Rebecca (a member of our under 12s) has been cast. Congratulations Rebecca!
TYLER CAST IN NHS FILM
Tyler Andrew Cheetham from our Over 16s has won a role in a short film for the NHS by Spool films. Filming took place in Nottingham. Exciting stuff!
URBAN MAKES MORE FILMS!
All urban members have just finished creating and starring in their very own films! Our actors experienced acting on a real film set with a professional crew and also had the opportunity to learn about professional filming equipment and exactly what film crew members do! A great experience in front of and behind the camera! Urban will host the second Urban Film Festival in the New Year.
MEMBERS CAST IN SHORT FILM
Three very talented urban members have been cast in 'Shine' - a short film written and directed by filmmaker Nigel Morgan. Maddy Nyombi, Ria Hamilton and Eden Walsh had to play mean girls and had a great time on set! Well done girls!
URBAN MEMBERS WIN ROLES IN 'BEVERLEY' FILM
Lewis Fernandez and Owen Warner have won featured roles in the film 'Beverley'. The producer was hugely impressed with all of our actors! For more information on the film click here Click Here
COME AND WATCH OUR URBAN TALENT
On the 18th July, Urban's extremely talented Over 16's will be performing a selection of hilariously British playlets along with a selection of music and poetry. The playlets are taken from the very popular 'One Million Tiny Plays About Britain' by Craig Taylor and it is set to be an incredible evening! Limited tickets are available. To purchase tickets please fill in the form on the 'Contact Us' page.
LEADING CASTING DIRECTOR RUNS INSIGHTFUL WORKSHOP AT URBAN
Sarah Hughes, a renowned casting director came to Urban last month. Sarah has cast various high profile projects for film, television and theatre. Our actors relished the opportunity to perform pieces that they had chosen themselves. They received detailed feedback on their performances from Sarah which will help them with future auditions as well as possibly being considered for future parts. Sarah herself was incredibly impressed with the talent here at Urban.
FRANTIC ASSEMBLY VISIT URBAN!
Frantic Assembly recently came to Urban and their masterclass was absolutely fantastic! Frantic Assembly are known as the best physical theatre company in the world so it was such an honour to have them here at Urban. All those attending the workshop found learning about physical theatre from such great professionals to be a really valuable experience and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful ways theatre can be enhanced through physicality. A fantastic time was had by all.
MELISSA WRITES 'FIRST PERSON' ARTICLE FOR MERCURY
Melissa wrote an article for the Leicester Mercury entitled 'How drama can change young lives'. The piece discussed the importance of drama and creativity in our young people today.
OVER 16S CAST IN NHS VIRAL VIDEO
Some of our over 16s filmed a short video for the NHS which was a Ylvis Fox Parody made to inform students which action they should take if they fall ill!
URBAN HOSTS ITS OWN FILM FESTIVAL
There was much media excitement surrounding the first ever Urban Young Actors film festival in November which showcased five original short films made by Urban members. The event was covered in the Leicester Mercury and Soar magazine. Melissa was also interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester with Rupal discussing the event. A little piece of history for Leicester - a great night was had by all! Click here to see one of the Leicester Mercury articles: Click Here
UNDER 12S CAST IN SHORT FILM
Some of our younger Urban members were involved in a short film called 'Finding Richard' which was made in Leicester. The actors filmed a playground scene and had the opportunity to run around and have lots of fun!
OVER 16S STAR IN NEW ANTI-KNIFE CRIME VIDEO
8 of our very talented over 16s were cast in a new Anti-knife crime video in conjunction with De Montfort University and Leicestershire Police.
URBAN MEMBERS CAST IN WHITEBOARD ADVERT
Urban members from our younger groups were cast in an advert for a new hand held whiteboard company. All roles were cast from Urban! The filming took place in Nottingham; all actors loved their time on set and received excellent feedback.
REBECCA CAST IN CORPORATE ADVERT FOR SWISS COMPANY
Rebecca Morgan from our under 12's has successfully won the role for an upcoming corporate advert for lift company Schindler. She will play the role of the young daughter and Urban leader Melissa has been cast as her mum! The film is being shot in full dome immersive- exciting stuff!
URBAN GRADUATES GAIN PLACES AT PRESTIGIOUS DRAMA SCHOOLS
A number of Over 16 members have fled the nest onto drama pastures new this month. After successfully auditioning, Carolina Sansom gained a place at the Royal Central School of speech & drama, Lewis Meagor gained a place at Italia Conti and Jurell Carter won a place at LIPA. We are very proud of you all and are very happy to be able to share these success stories.
URBAN MEMBERS TAKE PART IN HISTORIC PHOTOSHOOT
A number of Over 16 members were selected to take part in a historic photoshoot at Lincoln Castle for it's new exhibition and museum this month by renowned international photographer Manuel Vazquez. They played the part of inmates in the prison just brilliantly!
URBAN MAKES SOME FILMS!
All urban members had the opportunity this Summer to create and star in their own short films. From the first initial idea, to character development to bringing it all to life! Some members also had the opportunity to learn 'crew' skills on set alongside the professional team. Thank you to Wreake Valley Academy for supporting this project. The red carpet premiere will be in November!
10 YEAR OLD HOLLY MAKES HER FIRST FILM!
Under 12's member Holly Jacobson has just written and directed her first short film aged just 10! The film also features various Urban members and can be seen here Well done Holly!
FOURMOST FILMS TEACHES URBAN FILMMAKING
Tim Smith of Fourmost Films came and visited all 5 Urban groups this month to run specialist filmmaking workshops. It gave members a chance to try their hands at various 'behind the scenes' jobs, a lot was learnt by all! Thank you Tim!
URBAN MEMBERS HAVE NEW HEADSHOTS
Members were all able to update their acting headshots this month. Tim Smith did a great job taking them all! Casting Directors please contact us for copies.
URBAN PLAY REVIEWED IN SYSTON TOWN NEWS
All Urban plays were a huge success this year with very appreciative audiences including various industry professionals. The Syston Town news gave a review for 'The Riots' which can be seen via this link
'RESPECT ME' FILM HAS BEEN LAUNCHED
The film which Melissa co- directed and co- produced alongside Fourmost Films has been launched! Urban had a big involvement in 'Respect Me' with members such as Jurell, Mahalia, Zane, Lewis M and Yanika all being involved on and off screen. The film is being supported by Nottingham Forest Football Club and this was the venue for the premiere screening. Singer 'Scorcher' performed live during the evening as he is featured on the film's soundtrack. The film can be seen by clicking on this link
OVER 16'S STARRING IN NEW ROAD AWARENESS FILM
5 Of Urban's Over 16 members have helped to develop and have acted in a new road awareness film to be played in the VF4 Car Simulator. The film has been made by Ben Jacobson for LeicesterShire Road Safety partnership in conjunction with the Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service. The film will be shown across Leicestershire schools and has already received media attention by making the front page of the Leicester Mercury and being featured on East Midlands Today. Well done to Lewis M, Phebe, Lily, Sharan and Joe for your involvement. The film can be seen here
URBAN AUDITIONS COMING UP!!
Urban is looking for talented new members to join the group. Auditions are being held on Monday 3rd December at Quad Studios. Places are extremely limited and must be booked in advance. To book yours please Apply Online

URBAN MEETS JLS AT SCREENING!
'Trust me' a short film by Tim Smith of Fourmost Films has received a big celebrity following recently with JLS promoting the film because of it's positive message to teenagers. 3 Urban members had been involved in the project when it was filmed in Nottingham. Here is a link talking about the bands visit for a special screening http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Boy-band-JLS-Nottingham-safe-sex-message/story-16152490-detail/story.html
ELLA AND JORDANS VOICES USED IN VIDEO GAME APP!
Under 12's member Ella Towers and Barkby 12-2pm member Jordan Studd both recently hit the recording studio becoming voiceover characters for a new educational video game app called Picaro World. The app can be purchased here http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/picaro-play/id531777623?mt=8
HOLLY LANDS ROLE IN 3D FEATURE FILM!
Under 12's member Holly Jacobson recently won the role of Samantha in the new street dance movie 'All Stars 3d'. Kimberly Walsh from the band 'Girls Aloud' played Holly's mum!
URBAN HAS ITS FIRST EVER SUMMER FESTIVAL!
Urban members enjoyed a great Summer Festival this year. It was a mix of performances, music, dancing, games, food, fun and even magic from the brilliant Rob Ne'Kros! It was a great social occasion including families and friends and the sun shone all day.
CHARLES TO FEATURE ON ITV COOKING SHOW!
Barkby 12-2pm member Charles Marriott had his baking skills tested earlier this month whilst filming for the new ITV1 series 'The home of fabulous cakes'. Charles had the opportunity to film with Fiona Cairns who made the Royal wedding cake for Prince William and Kate! The episode is due to air on Sunday 14th October.
MELISSA TO CO-PRODUCE FILM FEATURING MAHALIA
Melissa (Urban leader) is currently in pre-production for a brand new short film exploring domestic violence in teenagers. The project which is in conjunction with Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Forest FC is being made by Fourmost Films this October. Mahalia Burkmar who is in our 12-2pm group has landed a lead role in the film.
URBAN PLAY FESTIVAL IS BACK!
It has been a very busy Summer at Urban with all of our members working very hard on their annual productions. We have a fantastic range of plays this year all once again being performed at Wreake Valley Academy in Syston at 7.30pm. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller) Fri 28th September & Sat 29th September. Under 12's group. Headstrong by April De Angelis Fri 12th October & Sat 13th October. Barkby 2-4pm group. Dust by Sarah Daniels Fri 2nd November & Sat 3rd November. City 5-7pm group. The Riots by Gillian Slovo Fri 16th November & Sat 17th November. Over 16?s group. Dracula by Bram Stoker (Adapted by David Calcutt) Fri 30th November & Sat 1st December. Barkby 12-2pm group. Further info and prices can be found here http://www.facebook.com/events/206495316143347
TWO MEMBERS & MELISSA CAST IN THE SAME SHORT FILM!
Barkby 12-16 members Jordan Studd and Louis Gale both landed a role in the upcoming short film 'Silence'. Melissa also features in this short playing the part of the nurse! The film was written and directed by the very talented Amir Bazrafshan and produced by Tim Smith at Fourmost Films (www.fourmostfilms.com) Well done guys!
'THE KING AND I'- STARRING URBANITES!
Two members from our 12-16 city group are about to embark on a UK tour of 'The King and I'. After successfully completing a run at Curve Leicester both playing the role of 'Louis', Keir Barradell and Daniel Cornish will now continue this role performing in various theatres in the UK. Great work boys!
URBAN MEMBERS ENJOY EXCELLENT VOICE WORKSHOP
Professional storyteller and voice specialist Giles Abbott ran an excellent workshop with Urban this half term. Members were trained in technical voicework, breathing and projection skills- all very useful for aspiring actors! For more information on Giles please visit http://gilesabbott.com
URBAN MEMBER CAST IN FEATURE FILM!
A member of our Barkby 12-16 group has been cast in feature film 'Jadoo' which is being filmed in Leicester this Spring. Haseeb Noray successfully secured the part of 'Sonu' in this upcoming film which is being directed by Amit Gupta who also wrote the film. Congratulations Haseeb! For more information on the film please visit http://jadoomovie.com
ROB GREEN TEACHES URBAN TO SING!
Singer Rob Green visited all Urban groups this week running excellent singing workshops! Members were also treated to Rob singing acoustic versions of his brilliant self-penned songs. A great experience for all. For more information on Rob please visit http://www.robgreenmusic.com
ANOTHER FILM DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP AT URBAN!
London based Ruby Films and director Fred Casella recently visited Urban to collaborate on an exciting new short film called 'The King'. A great time was had by all. Fred states "I spent 3 hours immersing 30 young actors from UYA in theatre games and improv work and wow! Attentive, hard-working and committed; I was particularly impressed by their ability to listen and engage with the material I brought and, for my part, the short film we were exploring will be so much better for their involvement."
NEXT SET OF URBAN AUDITIONS COMING SOON
Urban's next auditions are being held on 14th November 2011 at Quad Studios. Auditions are for ages 8-21. Apply now as places are extremely limited!
URBAN PLAY FESTIVAL 2011
Urban's annual play season kicks off this Autumn. Please use the 'Contact Us' section to reserve tickets. All performances at at Wreake Valley Community College, Syston. The plays are as follows: Fri 30th Sep/ Sat 1st Oct- SHUT UP By Andrew Payne, Fri 14th Oct/ Sat 15th Oct- JOHNNY & THE DEAD By Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, Fri 28th Oct/ Sat 29th Oct- DNA By Dennis Kelly (age 14+) and Fri 11th Nov/ Sat 12th Nov- SECOND FROM LAST IN THE SACKRACE By David Nobbs. Tickets are priced at 8.50 full and 6.00 Concessions and are directed by Melissa Simpson.
BIG SOCIETY'S FESTIVAL SUCCESS
Big Society has just been announced as the winner of best short film at the 'BornShorts' Film Festival in Denmark. The film has also been nominated in the Grand Prix Award at the Brief Film Festival which will be hosted this winter.
BIG SOCIETY FILM MAKES THE BBC PAGES!
As previously mentioned on our news page, a number of Urban members were involved in the making of a short film recently called 'Big Society'. Since its release the film has been very well received and has already been picked up by the BBC. To watch the film please click this link (It is recommended for viewers aged 14 and over) www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/films/p00g3m73
NEW URBAN GROUP TO LAUNCH- APPLY NOW!
Due to continuous high demand it has been decided that Urban will shortly launch a new 12-16 group. This group will meet every Saturday 2-4pm at Roundhill Community college. Auditions will be on Wednesday 29th June at Quad Studios. To apply for one of these very limited slots, please fill out an online application form by clicking the 'Apply Now' link at the top of the page
PLAY SEASON A SUCCESS
All four plays performed by Urban Young Actors were a great success this year. The group gave great performances and showed professionalism throughout. Many positive comments were received by family members and industry insiders alike. Tim Smith -Producer at Fourmost Films states "I have been incredibly impressed with the level of ability within Urban Young Actors and I thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 play festival selection. The maturity and skill shown by the group is up there with the best. I would certainly recommend Urban to any young person seeking high quality drama tuition in the Leicester area."
OVER 16'S CAST IN SHORT FILM
A Handful of the Urban Over 16's have been cast in a short film called 'Big Society' which explores one mans views on England having been in Afghanistan fighting in the war. This mockumentary is a very powerful piece and raises issues that will get audience members thinking! The film was written, produced and directed by Nick Scott of 'The Winners Productions' and Urban's leader Melissa Simpson also has a producer credit on the film. All Over 16's were involved in development of the script. The film also stars Jonathan Rhodes.
STAR OF 'THE SARAH-JANE ADVENTURES' VISITS URBAN!
Anjli Mohindra who plays Rani in the hit CBBC Show joined Urban members in their drama session this week. Anjli did a Q&A offering an insightful look into the world of acting and making the much-loved SJ series, she also did some acting with the members which was a massive hit with all! Thank you Anjli!
URBAN AUDITIONS
The next audition date for Urban Young Actors is Wednesday 3rd November at Quad Studios from 4pm. Limited spaces are now available and must be booked in advance. Click on the Apply Now link to book your audition.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOOT FOR HEADSHOTS
Urban members took part in a photo shoot recently at our city home- Quad Studios. All members now have professional 10x8 Black and white headshots for casting purposes. Casting directors are advised to get in touch via the contact us page to obtain copies of these.
WAITING LISTS
Due to extremely high demand Urban currently has waiting lists for all 4 groups. But potential new members are still encouraged to apply because as soon as there is availability you will be the first to know! So get to the front of the queue!
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR URBAN'S PLAY SEASON
Tickets are now available for all four of Urban's upcoming productions. The shows and dates are as follows- 'The Demon Headmaster' by Adrian Flynn (Under 12's group) will be performed on 17th & 18th September at Wreake Valley Community College, 'Burying your brother in the pavement' By Jack Thorne (City 12-16 group) will be performed on 24th & 25th September at Babington Community College, 'The Adventures of Panstman and Sockboy' By Nic Harvey (Thurmaston 12-16 group) will be performed on 1st & 2nd October at Wreake Valley Community College and 'Fur coat and no knickers' By Mike Harding (Over 16's group) will be performed on 29th & 30th October at Wreake Valley Community College. Tickets can be obtained by getting in touch via the contact us page. Urban looks forward to a varied 2010 play season! Hope to see you there!
NEW URBAN TALENT CHOSEN!
After a very busy yet successful audition day, the new members of Urban Young Actors have been chosen! The standard of the auditions were extremely high this year and it is a very exciting time for Urban with the launch of the over 16's group this week. Thank you to all of those who auditioned and congratulations to the successful applicants.
URBAN HEADS INTO LEICESTER SCHOOLS!
Over the past few weeks Melissa Simpson (Director Of Urban) and Luke Gell (Director of Urban's sister group Inspire Academy) have headed into Leicester Schools to run drama workshops exploring various techniques and to encourage students to tap into their creative side! Schools visited included Wreake Valley Community College, Brockington College and Roundhill Community College. Marian Gray (Drama teacher at Brockington College) states 'The workshop was a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn new skills, growing in performance and group work confidence whilst also igniting their creative interest and ability. The workshop was a brilliant creative opportunity for them all'. To discuss your requirements for a school workshop please get in touch via the contact us page
CURVE THEATRE RUNS WORKSHOP WITH URBAN
Curve came and did a workshop with both 12-16 groups with the theme of 'The Long Road' which is a powerful play about a murder of a teenage boy. The Urban members thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and the thought provoking exercises. This workshop was then followed by a trip to see the play at Curve. For more info on Curve please visit www.curveonline.co.uk
RAVEL AND LOUIS TO TREAD THE BOARDS IN LOCAL THEATRES
Two Urban members have been chosen to take roles in theatre productions in the region. Ravel Lumba will be in 'The Rainmaker' at The Little Theatre which runs from 3rd-8th May and Louis Gale will be in 'Brassed off' at Loughborough Town Hall which runs from 23rd-26th June. Urban will be organising trips to both of these shows for Urban members to support the boys.
'SKINS' CASTING DIRECTOR RUNS WORKSHOP WITH URBAN!
Jane Ripley came to Urban last weekend to do a casting workshop with some lucky members of our 12-16 groups. It was a fantastic day enjoyed by all which included script work, improvisation and a Q&A. Jane is a very high profile casting director and has cast for television programs such as 'Skins' and 'The Inbetweeners' and was pleased with what she saw at Urban. Jane states "Urban are a lovely group to work with-attentive and responsive- with some exciting emerging talent".
LUCAS HITS THE BILLBOARDS AND CBBC!
Thurmaston 12-16 member Lucas Hayward is currently featured on Billboards across the UK as a star of a new campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to create awareness of a charity called 'Changing Faces' which highlights face equality. Lucas also appeared on Channel 5 news this week discussing this and will be heavily featured in an upcoming CBBC Documentary which is due to hit screens in the next few months. CBBC actually came down to Urban to film a session in progress so watch this space! For more information on the charity please visit www.changingfaces.org.uk
URBAN AND HIGHCROSS SHOPPING CENTRE TEAM UP!
A handful of 12-16 members are currently involved in an exciting project at Highcross Leicester. Due to our fantastic reputation in the county, Highcross has asked Urban to help out with their security staff training by improvising and acting as 'Naughty teenagers'! It means that for 2 hours a week those Urban members are allowed to misbehave so that Highcross staff learn to deal with any problem youngsters efficiently and effectively! Acting and running around the mall after hours is proving to be lots of fun for our young people and is of course offering them a great chance to brush up with their improvising skills! We look forward to continuing to assist the Highcross on this project and in the future. For further information on the shopping centre please visit Highcross Website
URBAN TO LAUNCH AN OVER 16'S GROUP!
Due to demand it has been decided that an over 16's group will be set up within Urban this Easter. This is very exciting news as it now means that members can remain in the group until age 21 and of course that new people can apply! Auditions are to be held on Wednesday 31st March at Quad Studios. Auditions on this date will be for ages 12-21 only. Apply Now to book your slot as places are extremely limited.
LOUIS WINS STARRING ROLE IN 'OLIVER'
Thurmaston 8-11 member Louis Gale has won the lead role of 'Oliver' in the production of the same name at Loughborough Town Hall which takes place 17th-21st November 09. Louis fought off stiff competition from many local young actors to win the lead in this production and is currently thoroughly enjoying rehearsals. For information or to book tickets please visit http://www.loughboroughtownhall.co.uk/events/oliver
DRAMA FESTIVAL SUCCESS ONCE AGAIN FOR URBAN!
Once again, members of Urban Young Actors took part in The Leicester Drama Society Festival of Speech and Drama on 18th October held at The Little Theatre. The day was a bigger success for our actors than anyone could have imagined. This was our second competitive festival as a group where we competed against other drama groups in the region. Placings were as follows:

15-18 Year Olds: Monologues- 1st Place to Ravel Lumba, 3rd Place to Zane Burkmar.

12-14 Year Olds: Duologues- 1st Place to Kia Moules and Sinead Hirrell

8-11 Year Olds: Monologues- 1st place to Louis Gale, 3rd Place to Mahalia Burkmar

8-11 Year Olds: Duologues- 2nd Place to Che Simms-Stewart and Fern Gandy

On top of those amazing placings we also had Mahalia Burkmar win the award for the best performer of all sections in her age group and the most prestigious Award of the festival was the Ruth Berridge Shield for the Most Promising performer of the whole festival which went to Ravel Lumba! Well done to all members that took part, the standard of what you did was exceptional this year. Congratulations!
CITY CENTRE MONOLOGUE/DUOLOGUE EVENING 9TH OCTOBER 09
Tickets are now available for the city centre 12-16 year olds performance of monologues and duologues. The evening will be taking place at Quad Studios, 78 Friday Street, Leicester, LE1 3BW and begins at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at 5.50 standard and 4.00 concessions and are available by sending us a message through the website. Tickets are extremely limited due to the size of the venue so please book now to avoid disappointment. It is sure to be an exciting night showcasing Urban's newest talent!
URBAN SHOWS- A HUGE SUCCESS!
Both of our Thumaston groups performed in their annual performances this month. The under 12's performed 'The Monster that ate 3b' by Randall Lewton and the 12-16's performed 'The secret diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4' by Sue Townsend. Both shows were performed at Wreake Valley Community College and were a roaring success and had very appreciative audiences. Many comments were made on how talented our young actors are and how professional the shows were. Great compliments to all involved! Congratulations to all members! Thank you to all who supported these wonderful events
MADDY AND BENNY TAKE PART IN LONDON FASHION SHOOT!
Madelaine Nyombi and Benny Seeds from our Thurmaston under 12's group took part in a fantastic photo shoot at Hoxton Street Studios in London. The made their moves for celebrity photographer Simon Webb and the theme for the shoot was 'MUSIC'. Both kids did a great job playing a variety of instruments and bringing masses of energy and enthusiasm to the shoot. We look forward to seeing the pics! Good work guys!
WATCH URBAN MEMBERS FEATURED IN ONLINE SERIES
Member's of from Urban's Thurmaston and City Centre groups are featured in a brand new online series which is a docu-soap outlining teenage issues. Check out www.hey-babe.co.uk
UNDER 12'S PRODUCTION ANNOUNCED!
The members of the under 12's group in Thurmaston are to perform 'The Monster that ate 3b' by Randall Lewton. The performance is on Saturday September 5th 2009 at Wreake Valley Community College, Syston. Ticket information will be available a little nearer the time. It is sure to be a great show with our talented youngsters!
RAV AND LEWIS INTERVIEW
Urban member's Ravel Lumba and Lewis Meagor have been interviewed by Leicestershire County Council website 'The Jitty' about their recent filming project. To read the full interview please visit http://www.thejitty.com/articles/hey-babe
NEW URBAN PRODUCTION ANNOUNCED!
The Thurmaston 12-16 group are to perform a production of "The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13" by Sue Townsend. Rehearsals have begun and the play will be performed on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th September 2009 at Wreake Valley Community College in Syston. It is set to be a very exciting show and ticket information will be available nearer the time.
URBAN MEMBERS CAST IN FILMING PROJECT
Many members of Urban have been working on a local filming project over the last few weeks for an online teenage drama series for the Leicestershire healthcare trust. Many Urban members took part in this project and lead roles went to Oliver Hanney, Ravel Lumba, Lewis Meagor and Oliver Collins. The series is to be launched later this year. Rebecca Mumby (Production team) said "Urban Young Actors were brilliant! They were interested, professional and brought a lot to the roles. Please pass on my thanks." Good work team Urban!
URBAN CITY CENTRE MEMBERS CHOSEN
After our last set of auditions, the city centre version of Urban has officially been launched! The new members have been chosen for showing great performance potential and a passion for drama. Melissa Simpson who will personally be running the sessions states "I am so thrilled with the members that have been selected for our new group. They all show great promise and I am looking forward to helping develop their talent. I have no doubt that this new group will be just as wonderful as our other two Urban groups."
MEDIA EXCITEMENT ABOUT NEW URBAN CITY CENTRE GROUP!
The excitement is mounting in Leicester over the launch of Urban's next auditions to find talented children for the new city centre group. Details of the auditions are spreading quickly in local media who are excited to have something fresh for young actors in town. The group this week has already featured in the Leicester Mercury, as well as Melissa being interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester's lunchtime show today plus the Arts in Leicestershire website were more than happy to talk about our upcoming auditions. To visit the website to keep up to date with arts in Leicester then please click here.
URBAN TO LAUNCH A NEW CITY CENTRE GROUP!
Due to the incredible success of Urban Young Actors in Thurmaston which now has two groups, Urban are launching a brand new city centre group so that it is accessible to even more talented young people. The new group will be for 12-16 year olds and the auditions for this group will be held at Quad Studios, Leicester on Thursday 30th April from 4pm. This is also the venue for the new group which will meet every Thursday 5pm-7pm. Audition slots are extremely limited so click on the apply now page to request an audition for this exciting new group!
URBAN FEATURED IN A SPECIAL ARTICLE ON THE JITTY WEBSITE
Urban members were observed and interviewed during an exclusive interview for Leicestershire County Council website "The Jitty". To read the full article and see what the writer thought of Urban please visit TheJitty.com
URBAN LEADER MELISSA TO STAR IN NEW PLAY AT THE NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE
Melissa will be performing in "Glamour" as the part of Beatrice from February 6th- February 21st. The play is a brand new comedy written by the fantastic writer Stephen Lowe and is directed by the well-respected Bill Alexander. The play is set in the 60's and is all based in an old run down cinema whereby some "special" guests arrive in the form of a couple of the most notorious gangsters in the world! For more information please visit nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
ZANE FEATURED IN SUGAR MAGAZINE!
Urban member Zane Burkmar is featured in the current edition of girls magazine Sugar in an article about dating different girls and not judging people. Like the urban members before him, he got to go down to London and be styled and photographed in a penthouse for a celeb style shoot!
URBAN SWEEP THE BOARD AT PRESTIGIOUS DRAMA COMPETITION!
All members of Urban Young Actors took part in The Leicester Drama Society Festival of Speech and Drama on 26th October held at The Little Theatre. The day was a bigger success for our actors than anyone could have imagined. This was our first competitive festival as a group where we competed against other drama groups in the region. Placings were as follows:

15-18 Year Olds: Monologues- 1st Place to Ravel Lumba, 2nd Place to Oli Hanney 12-14 Year Olds: Monologues- 1st Place to Zane Burkmar, 3rd Place to Helena Iliffe 12-14 Year Olds: Duologues- 1st Place to Sean Torr and Serena Gainda 8-11 Year Olds: Monologues- 2nd Place to Jordan Studd, Joint 3rd Place to Mahalia Burkmar and Jules Harvey 8-11 Year Olds: Duologues- 1st Place to Isaac Widdowson and Louis Gale, 2nd Place to Gianni Modha and Che Simms-Stewart.

On top of those amazing placings we also had Oli Hanney win the the award for the best performer of all sections in his age group and the most prestigious Award of the festival was the Ruth Berridge Shield for the Most Promising performer of the whole festival which went to Zane Burkmar! I am sure you will agree that it was an exceptional day and that thanks to our young actors we are now the leading drama workshop in Leicester. WELL DONE!
Joint Urban and Inspire Summer Course a huge success!
On Tuesday 26th August, once again the two premier drama groups in the midlands met for a joint performance course held at the International Community Centre in Nottingham. The children once again got to meet with their sister group and worked on improvisation, contemporary dance and vocal work. A great day was had by all.
BBC Radio Leicester welcomes Melissa back once again
Melissa was heavily featured on The Monica Winfield show with a two part studio interview. Melissa talked about her life as an actress and shared her own personal experiences as well as discussing the group and how far Urban have come since their launch in January.
Ravel and Lewis featured in Sugar Magazine!
Melissa took the boys down to London for an exclusive photoshoot for national magazine SUGAR. They were styled and then photographed by celebrity photographer Simon Webb who has worked with stars such as Blacked Eyed Peas, Girls Aloud, Moby, Gordon Ramsey and Ant & Dec to name a few! The shoot took place at the famous Castle Gibson Studios where Dragons Den was filmed. Check this shoot out in the September issue of the magazine!
New members chosen!
Auditions were held for the next intake for Urban Young Actors and we were very impressed with what we found! We now have some fantastic new members on board and look forward to welcoming them to our group.
Urban members film Anti-Social DVD
Members of Urban were chosen to spend a day on set filming for an Anti-social dvd for the Leicester City Council. It was a fantastic experience for all involved and the group made a fantastic impression. Here's what director Damien Nickerson had to say, "Thanks for bringing your group over- they were brilliant! They really were great. It was nice to meet such a responsive and polite bunch." The dvd will be circulated around all local schools.
Melissa featured on BBC Radio Leicester
Melissa was interviewed by Monica Winfield discussing the acting profession and of course, Urban Young Actors!
Urban and Inspire host the first joint performance course!
On 25th and 26th March the members of Urban got on a coach and headed over to Nottingham to join our sister group Inspire Academy for a joint Easter Course. It was a truly memorable experience for all involved and the children participated in specialist workshops with various tutors on improvisation, comedy, shakespeare and had the privilege of being taught by Freddie Kofi who gave the groups gospel singing classes and was truly inspirational in his teachings. He also treated us to a performance of his award-winning song 'Kiss'.
Urban Monologue/Duologue Evening a great success!
A host of celebrities attended Urban's first performance on the main stage of Roundhill including Joe Dempsie (Skins), Luke Gell ( Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps), Rendall Munroe ( European Super Bantamweight Champion Boxer) and Joe Hanney (International personal trainer of the year). The children performed wonderfully and a fantastic night was had by all. An amazing start to what is to come from URBAN YOUNG ACTORS!