Historic Cheshire company helps shine spotlight on future talent

25 Mar 2020 02:05
Published by: Kian French

Budding young thespians from schools in Crewe took to the stage in their own production as part of a scheme nurturing creativity and fresh artistic talent.

More than 200 youngsters from Monks Coppenhall and Underwood West performed pieces based on Greek myths as part of an arts programme led by Clonter Opera Theatre and supported by Crewe’s oldest family-run company Mornflake.

Award-winning Clonter, based in the heart of the Cheshire countryside in Swettenham, has a long association with the breakfast company which regularly supports its educational activities and productions featuring emerging artists.

The company can trace its history back to 1675 when William Lea began milling in picturesque Swettenham using water to turn the mill stones to roll oats. Today, 15 generations later, the Lea family are still at the helm.

Theatre Joint Chief Executive Amanda Harman said: “Clonter is not just opera but folk, jazz, gospel as well as musical theatre and every year many children take part in our workshops which aim to inspire not only the next generation of performers but stage managers, designers, lighting technicians – everyone who makes a show comes to life.

“We are grateful to Mornflake for its continued support. The Lea family first became connected with Clonter in the 17th century via the Clonter Brook which flows beneath the theatre down to Swettenham mill.  Through sponsorship and advertising in Clonter’s programme, Mornflake has played a major part in enabling us to provide talent development opportunities.

“It is an inspiration to see how Mornflake has grown since its early days in Swettenham Mill and we are very proud of our association with a company which shares a commitment to nurturing talent, culture, health and wellbeing.”

Clonter’s educational programme also focuses on creative arts careers such as computer game design, film production, advertising and graphic design offering children an insight into skills needed to compete in one of the UK’s fastest growing industries. More than 1700 have taken part in workshops this academic year.

Mornflake spokesman Richard Jones said: “We’re proud of our historic roots in Cheshire and supporting Clonter presents an opportunity to celebrate our heritage while giving back to local families. Tucked away in the countryside, the theatre highlights a potential career path for visiting children while creating many happy memories.”

The company, miller of British-grown Mighty Oats, features its age-old Swettenham farm horses Flossy, Bonnie and Metal pulling a binder on all its packaging.

It is also a lead sponsor of an upcoming Clonter production The Barber of Seville featuring emerging talent. For more information go to www.clonter.org

For information on breakfast products visit www.mornflake.com

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