The Hall of Fame
Matthews Productions has a policy to seek out new and versatile performers for the highly acclaimed shows staged at the Babbacombe Theatre, which, together with the youth policy, enables us to discover and develop young talent in the South West. This has resulted in success nationally, internationally and in the West End for young performers that have appeared in the numerous productions since the early 1990's
In 2006, whilst still only 12 years old, Oliver Taylor was offered his first professional stage appearance in the show the Magic of Variety as our very own Billy Elliot. Then in 2007 he was treading the boards at the Victoria Palace Theatre, on London's West End starring as Billy Elliot, a huge step forward for this extremely talented young man. He was a huge success.
In 2009, we saw a young girl of 8 take to the stage here in Torbay's Got Talent; she danced her way into 2nd place. She subsequently was invited to perform with the junior cast in 2010 in The Laughter Party. She entered TGT again in 2010, this time as a vocalist, and again was placed second. She was offered a featured role in the Christmas Laughter Party and made a huge impact. In 2011 she stepped on the boards with us again, but only for a short time as she was whisked off part way through the season to star as Amanda Fripp in Matilda on the West End. Her name is Lily Laight.
In 2012, Lily was cast in two feature films Les Miserables and in the title role of Therese Raquin starring Jessica Lang. She also played the part of the Young Jennifer Saunders in The Comic Strip's 30th Anniversary TV film Five got to Rehab. This year, Lily has just been cast as Katie Dunn in a new rom-com feature film Love Rosie, which will be filming in Ireland and Toronto in May whilst also being cast in a featured role of Doc Martin series 6.
This young lady is a star in the making and we are delighted for her success.
Other artistes that have gone on to the West End are:
- Dylan Turner - Mama Mia, Grease, Chicago, Oh What A Night, Footloose, Rock Of Ages & many more including Mama Mia the Movie
- Lauren Cuthbertson - Prima Ballerina for the Royal Ballet
- Jethro Marles - Mary Poppins & Mama Mia
- Emrhys Cooper - We Will Rock You & Mama Mia the Movie, albeit now he has moved to Hollywood and in 2011 appeared in Desperate Housewives.
- Alexandra Jay - West End, Cats, My Fair Lady (understudy to Martine McCutcheon), Mama Mia.
- Michael Baxter - Les Miserables
- Tricia Turner - We Will Rock You, Legally Blonde & Carnaby Street.
- Stephanie Clift - Mama Mia.
The entertainment industry has many opportunities for young performers; the following are now making their living in varying aspects of the business having appeared at the Babbacombe Theatre in numerous productions over the years.
The following young people are currently furthering their education within the industry by attending accredited theatre schools.