Interview with Andrew Curphey: Top Arts Organisation Winner 2024

Halton’s Andrew Curphey Theatre Company delivered a top performance at the Liverpool City Regions Creative and Cultural Awards

Andrew Curphey, a qualified teacher, performer, and entertainer from Widnes has been delivering theatre workshops and performing for over 22 years. 15 years ago he set up Andrew Curphey Theatre Company to fulfil an ambition of creating something he had wished for from when he was a small child.

Explaining his motivation, Andrew said, “There are many performance groups and theatres, but at our Theatre Company, we focus on fun. I like to say we provide life skills, wrapped up in fun”.

Now with more than 350 children and young people enrolled across evening theatre classes in Widnes, Runcorn, Warrington and Frodsham. Each year the company produce various theatrical showcases and musical productions, upcoming shows include ‘Shrek The Musical JR’ (8th / 9th June 2024), ‘Movie Mayhem’ (6thJuly 2024) and ‘Summer Showtime’ (10th July) at Halton’s award-winning Brindley Theatre.

Andrew continues to teach classes, direct productions, and manage the company as well as performing at the Brindley Theatre himself, in March 2023 Andrew presented ‘Andrew Curphey LIVE’ to a sold-out audience and is super excited to return with a brand-new one-man show in May 2024, taking to the stage with an evening of pure entertainment that is guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

“After teaching for so many years, I thought it was time I practice what I preach. I perform in the Christmas Panto every year, and I decided to do my first one-man show last year which was a sell-out. After the success, I decided to do my second one-man show in May this year. It is a look into my life, with some fun songs and a few special guests joining me this year which I’m really excited about, and I think the audience will love.”

Encompassing the towns of Runcorn and Widnes, Halton is a melting pot for cultural talent, as it’s not only Andrew’s hometown, but the birthplace of Nicola Roberts, Mel C, David Dawson & John Squire to name a few. It’s also the homeland of Literary greats such as Alice in Wonderlands’ Lewis Carrol and musical masterpieces including one of the most legendary concerts ever held in the UK, the iconic Stone Roses Gig at Spike Island. The borough is said to be the inspiration for Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound at Widnes Station and marks the exact point at which The Beatles went from local band to a global phenomenon, heading from a gig at The Queens Hall to record their debut single Love Me Do.

What is it that inspires artists and literary greats to create their own vibes here? Is it the world-famous River Mersey, the backdrop of the Chemical History or landscapes? We asked Andrew to tell us more:

“I think talent is everywhere. The difference between someone who creates a name for themselves is that someone gave them an opportunity. I think Halton is abundant in opportunities. There are many performance and theatre groups, as well as my own. We’re fortunate to have several amazing venues like The Brindley Theatre, and The Studio in Widnes is a great hub for the community too. Ultimately, I think it comes down to identifying opportunities and going for them.”

Another local & global superstar Gary Barlow, who at the tender age of 14, was the resident singer and keyboardist at close by Halton’s British Legion Club. It was here that he first performed his own material including the first public performance of the massive hit, Million Love Songs.   Gary’s mother Marjorie is a patron of the Andrew Curphey Theatre Company. Andrew met Marjorie whilst hosting a local talent show that she was judging. Since then, she has always been on hand with advice and shows her support, attending all the company’s productions.

Across the whole region, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and the Wirral, Andrew Curphey Theatre Company was named the Top Arts Organisation in 2024.

On the win, Andrew said “At Andrew Curphey Theatre Company, we help create skills for life’s stage. Not everyone is set to be a performer, but we give children and young people the skills that they can use in their daily lives. It is so rewarding to see our students flourish and develop skills and confidence in themselves, it’s what makes me love my job so much. The team and I are thrilled to be recognised for such a prestigious award, what a way to continue celebrating 15 years of the Company”

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