Hetty Feather : Behind The Scenes

By Anna Rogers | 19th August 2019

' Hetty Feather ' Director, Kate Veysey

' Hetty Feather ' Director, Kate Veysey with the spectacular handmade elephant .

This August, York Theatre Royal brings the Jacqueline Wilson classic ‘Hetty Feather’, to its main stage. Featuring a cast made up of its Youth Theatre members ranging between 10 -19 yrs, as well as other talented young performers, the production is jam packed with aerial hoop magic, beautifully creative staging and bundles of energetic zest that only a young cast can bring to such a show.

Director Kate Veysey and team are well into rehearsals now, so I caught up with her for a coffee and a glimpse of a very spectacular prop backstage.

Kate had literally just come from an aerial hooping rehearsal where the cast were honing their skills in preparation for their final weeks of rehearsals before the curtain goes up! From chatting about delicately held positions on the hoops to how one positions a poo on a hoop for a particular scene, these hooping sessions sounded ridiculously fun! This project is a hands on one and at the heart of it all is the acquiring of new skills which is fabulous! Each and everyone of the cast has been involved in all aspects of the show, and it really feels like the creative team and cast are living and breathing Hetty.

Watching the cast play warm up games you can really feel their close-knit energy and enthusiasm for the production, not to mention how obvious it is that they are clearly having a ball in the process. York Theatre Royal are well known for their thriving youth theatre but projects like ‘Hetty’ prove they are more than just your average youth theatre. YTR really care about making quality, inclusive work with young people. The opportunities which ‘Hetty’ brings the actors and creatives are second to none and I have no doubt that the standards will be high, as will the superb quality of this show. Veysey has a wonderful energy to her and as director she certainly has a twinkle in her eye each time she talks about the process of working on ‘Hetty’ and what to expect from the show.
I was lucky enough to see the absolutely amazing puppet elephant, handmade by the cast, which has a starring role in the circus scenes. Let me tell you now, it is going to look utterly magic on that stage. So much skill and so much imagination. I love it!

I definitely recommend you bring your smalls and your talls along and catch this show! Recommended age 7+ .


ROLL UP and join Hetty on her escape from the Foundling Hospital. TREMBLE as she faces Matron Stinkingly Bottomly. THRILL as she discovers the squirrel house and Tanglefield’s Travelling Circus. GASP as she endures a night locked in the attic. QUAKE as she braves the scary streets of Victorian London and CHEER as she overcomes all in the search to find her real mother and a true family of her own.

From best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson, Hetty Feather will appeal to children aged 7+ but also their adults who either have read the book as a child or enjoy reading it to their own children.

Performed by York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre members aged 16-19, along with other younger youth theatre members aged 10+ and a group of young people with whom we have previously not engaged.

Don’t miss the post show discussion following the 7pm performance on Saturday 31 August.

Catch Hetty Feather at York Theatre Royal on Friday 30th August - Sunday 1st September 2019, 7pm and Matinee 2pm (Sun)

Aerial hoop

Aerial Hoop Photography Credit , John Saunders

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