We’re looking for new Starlets

Do you know any youngsters aged four to six who love singing and performing?

We are holding a FREE trial Starlets class in the new year for children who might like to join us.

Starlets open day

Starlets classes run each Saturday morning in term time from 9am to 9.45am.

The free, trial morning is being held on January 8 from 9am at the William Allitt School, Sunnyside, Newhall, Derbyshire DE11 0TL.

If you know a youngster who would like to attend, you can book your place here.

New StageScreen teachers make their mark

New Team Purple teachersThe two new teachers joining StageScreen met our students today and led some exciting sessions.

SAtageScreen teacher Hannah at work

Hannah Kirkpatrick is our new acting teacher and Sam Pearson will be teaching film and TV.

Feedback from our students was great.

It may have been the final session of 2021, and the morning after our second performance of The Godmother, but energy levels were high. StageScreen Teacher Sam at work

The next generation of Team Purple is ready and raring to go when the new term starts. If you would like to join us, apply for a free trial session here. 


StageScreen teacher Sam with students

What our audiences said about The Godmother

Our students (and teachers) had a wonderful time bringing the story of Lily Thomas home to Burton. It seems that our audiences loved it too.

We staged just two performances of new play The Godmother, by local writer Elaine Pritchard at The Trinity, George Street, Burton.

Here are just a few of the comments from our audiences:

  • What an amazing achievement! The performance and the story were really woven into something very special. #BeMoreLily. I wish I was going again tonight.
  • StageScreen what a wonderful and powerful performance from your brilliant students tonight! I cried more than once. It was a beautiful and a great story of hope against adversity!
  • It’s such a great story. Nice to see such a young cast too.
  • Wonderful, well done. What a fabulous story.
  • We really enjoyed it and the children were fantastic. It was a very moving story and told with great conviction by all.
  • It was so good and everyone played their part magnificently.
  • Thank you to the cast of Lily Thomas we really enjoyed the show. Loved the Burton history.
  • It was a privilege to watch. It was absolutely fab. I learned so much. Well done to everyone.
  • Really loved last night’s show. Well done to all and enjoy tonight’s. Thank you for bringing this story to life; it is uplifting and sad in equal measure.

The Godmother show pic 1 godmother show pic 4godmother show pic 8
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Show week for The Godmother!

Show week is here! Our students perform a new play, The Godmother, at The Trinity in Burton upon Trent on Thursday and Friday (December 9 and 10).

Yesterday was our dress rehearsal. Our young cast did a great job of managing props, costumes and staging in the iconic venue.

The Godmother dress rehearsalLily and the MC at Godmother dress rehearsal





TThe Godmother tells the true story of Lily Thomas, a widow from Rosliston Road in Stapenhill. She decided to organise food parcels every two weeks for Burton men who were captured in World War 1 and held in German prison camps.

StageScreen Principal, and producer of The Godmother, Heather Gallagher, explained: “The Trinity was George Street Methodist Church in Lily’s day. It played a key role in her story. Chruch trustees donated cash to Lily’s fund. They also allowed Lily free use of the Sunday School rooms to hold fundraising concerts.

View of The Godmother dress rehearsal from the balcony at The Trinity

“This Wednesday (December 8) is the 103rd anniversary of a thanksgiving service held in the George Street church to mark the end of the war. Lily attended. Some of the soldiers who had been released from prison camps were also there. It’s strange to think that our Lily will be literally stepping in the footsteps of the real Lily just over a century later.”

There is a strong flavour of the music hall tradition in The Godmother. Songs from the period are included. Audience members are welcome to join in. A free four-page programme will be given to everyone. It will include choruses of the songs as well as more historical information about Lily.

Lily was a hero

In the run-up to show week, playwright Elaine Pritchard received a message of support from descendants of one of the soldiers Lily supported: “The work of Lily, so difficult considering the difficulties of distance, communication and bureaucracy, needs more recognition. From my family’s perspective, she was a hero; someone who took the initiative and showed great skill in addressing a problem.”

Tickets can still be booked online at Eventbrite. Go to thegodmotherlilythomas.eventbrite.co.uk 


Sam Pearson is our new film and TV teacher

We are sad to announce that our Film and TV teacher Tilley Bancroft is moving on to different, exciting projects. But we are thrilled to tell you that our new Film and TV teacher is going to be the wonderful Sam Pearson!

Sam Pearson
Sam is a local filmmaker with a BA Hons in Cinema and Photography and a passion for visual storytelling.

He has worked across the country filming live televised events, action films, commercial projects and his own personal projects.

Sam said: “It’s extremely rewarding to work with young people and help them to express themselves creatively. I’m really looking forward to guiding the students through the process of transforming a creative vision into a finished project.”

The eagle-eyed among you may recognise Sam from some work he did back with us towards our first Film Festival in 2017. We are thrilled to be welcoming Sam into our permanent team from January 2022.

Goodbye Jack, hello Hannah

Jack Broughton, who has been our comedy and drama teacher since September 2018, is leaving us for pastures new.

We’ll miss him so much and we thank him for all the fun and creativity he brought to lessons, rehearsals and productions. Among many highlights, he wrote a serial drama called Castleford Close about life in lockdown. Our students performed it last year and it was uploaded to our YouTube channel. His final project for us is directing our December 2021 production The Godmother.

All the students and teachers wish him every success in the next exciting stage of his career.

Hannah KirkpatrickBut, as we say adieu to Jack we are excited to welcome Hannah Kirkpatrick back to the team.  Hannah taught our Starlets class when it first launched. She handed over the reins to Meg when she left to have her third child. Now, she’s back and taking over our Saturday morning comedy and drama classes for six to 18-year-olds from January 2022.

Hannah says “I love bringing a sense of fun, inspiration and discovery to class.  There are no wrong answers when it comes to my classes!  Just a chance to learn new skills, explore your creativity and build confidence in a safe and supportive environment.  I can’t wait to get started and explore exciting new projects with the brilliant students at StageScreen.”

Hannah studied Drama at The University of Hull, before training for a Postgraduate Diploma in Acting at The Bridge Theatre Training Company.  She has worked as an actor on stage and screen as well as teaching for performing arts schools across the Midlands.

Tickets for The Godmother now on general sale

Tickets are now on general sale for The Godmother, which will be performed by StageScreen students at The Trinity, Burton on Trent, on December 9 and 10.

Parents of our students have been allowed priority booking, which means that tickets are going very fast.

Tickets are only on sale online via Eventbrite – https://thegodmotherlilythomas.eventbrite.co.uk.

The Trinity, on George Street, is a former church, which retains many original features.  We have created a seating plan that offers seats upstairs and downstairs. Descriptions and diagrams of the seating plans can be seen on the Eventbrite page.

You are invited to choose the area of the building where you would like to sit and you will be emailed specific seat numbers after your payment has gone through.

On the night

Doors will open from 6pm each night enabling you to get a hot, cold or alcoholic drink from the bar before the show starts at 7pm.

Stewards will be on duty to guide you to your seats.

Running time is approximately two hours including an interval. The bar will stay open after the show if you want to linger longer and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.


There are a few pay and display parking spaces outside the venue on George Street, but parking fees are payable until 8pm.

Parking is free after 3pm in both the Sainsbury’s car park nearby and the central car park run by East Staffordshire Borough Council across the road from Sainsbury’s.

Parking is free for four hours, day and night, in the Middleway retail shopping car park on Guild Street next to Cineworld cinema. This car park is controlled by registration plate recognition cameras. If you overstay, you will get a parking ticket automatically through the post.

Who was The Godmother?

The Godmother is a new play by local writer Elaine Pritchard set in Burton-on-Trent during World War One. It tells the true story of  Lily Thomas and the extraordinary lengths she went to, to help local men survive in German prisoner of war camps.

StageScreen principal Heather Gallagher said: “Our students are excited to be the first people to play these roles on stage. They have been captivated by Lily’s story and we hope our audiences will share that enthusiasm.”

“It’s also special to be performing it at The Trinity. In Lily’s day, and for decades afterwards, it was George Street United Methodist Church and a place where she actually spent time. ”

The play includes music from the period and an original song.

Cast for The Godmother chosen

The cast for our December play, The Godmother, has now been chosen.

We kicked off the new term with two weeks of workshop-style auditions. All our students impressed us with their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work.

This new play has been written by Burton’s Elaine Pritchard. It tells the true story of Lily Thomas. She sent more than 29,000 food, clothing and medicine parcels to Burton men held prisoner in Germany during World War One.

The Godmother play dates and venue

Principal Heather Gallagher explained: “It’s a real ensemble show and there will be lots for the cast to do. They are excited to be the first people to play these roles on stage.”

The play will be performed over two nights at The Trinity, on George Street in Burton town centre. Tickets will go on sale later this autumn for performance on December 9 and 10.

Heather added: “In Lily’s day, The Trinity was George Street methodist church. We know that on December 8, 1918, Lily attended the church for a service of thanksgiving. She was joined by some of the soldiers she had helped who had been released from prison camps. It feels as if Lily is really coming home.”

The cast for the Godmother

M.C. – Grace Arch-Heap

WORKMEN – Imogen Williams, Laila Baines, Jojo Bancroft,
George Weedon, Oliver Osborne, Natasha Adkins

MRS A – Camille Braker

MISS K Bethany Warren

MRS B (MRS BIRCH) – Honor Ashmore

MISS D – Rebecca Pardoe

LILY THOMAS – Gracie Edge

POSTMASTER MR BURT – Matt Hodgkinson

MRS C – Robyn Wells

OLD MAN – Jacob Rose

MISS E – Rebecca Pardoe

MRS G (MRS GARDINER) – Hettie Baker

ARMY OFFICER – George Radley

MRS J – Chloe Clamp

SOLDIER 1 – Owen Mearns

SOLDIER 2 – George Weedon

SOLDIER 3 – Oliver Osborne


MRS H (MRS HOLMES) – Kacy Mearns

MISS M – Laila Baines

MRS L – Imogen Williams

MISS N – Natasha Adkins

CANON HAMILTON – George Radley

VESTA TILLEY  – Hettie Baker


POSTMAN – Owen Mearns

LEAD BOY SCOUT – Jojo Bancroft

ALDERMAN LOWE – Matt Hodgkinson



JOE STARTIN – George Radley

SMALL CHILD  – Laila Baines

JUNIOR CHOIR – Thea Kirkpatrick, William Moore, Bobby Belson, Seren Davis, Penelope Bancroft, Ella Light

BOY SCOUTS –  Thea Kirkpatrick, William Moore, Bobby Belson, Seren Davis, Penelope Bancroft, Ella Light

CHILD HELPERS – Thea Kirkpatrick, William Moore, Bobby Belson, Seren Davis, Penelope Bancroft, Ella Light

SOLO VOCALISTS IN ENSEMBLE SONGS – Kacy Mearns, Laila Baines, Oliver Osbourne, Rebecca Pardoe, Owen Mearns, Camille Braker, Imogen Williams, Ella Light


Keepmoat homes in Burton

We would like to say a huge thank you to Keepmoat for their kind donation of £250 back in July to enable us to rent our Sister Act Costumes!
Take a look at the selection of new 2-4 bedroom homes available at Malthouse Place in Burton-on-Trent – ideal for first-time buyers and growing families.
They have a scheme to help you move; Help to Buy or Easymove*.
Contact them to start your journey and to find out more.
*T&Cs apply, selected plots only.

We are moving to a new home!

StageScreen has a brand new home!

Our Saturday morning classes are moving to William Allitt School Performing Arts Centre from the start of the autumn term on Saturday, September 11.

Our new home, in Newhall, South Derbyshire, has purpose-built facilities that create exciting opportunities for our students.
There is a dance studio with a sprung floor, mirrors and a working performance space. The centre also has a black box theatre with a sound and lighting rig and breakout rooms.
To celebrate we are holding a FREE OPEN DAY for any under-18s who want to try a StageScreen morning on September 11 at 10am – 1pm. Please complete the online form at https://stagescreen.co.uk/free-trial/  
We can’t wait for our students to take the next step on the StageScreen journey with us!
StageScreen is mobing to William Allitt Performing Arts Centre