From directing to dancing, Phil trades musical theatre for the Strictly stage!
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Founder of Youth Theatre Company, ‘Kidz R Us’
Twenty years ago hairdresser and amateur-dramatics enthusiast Phil gathered a small group of local kids for a one-off concert in aid of Save the Children. Following its success, he decided to give up his full-time hairdressing business and set up ‘Kidz R Us’, a youth theatre company for six to 24 year olds in St Ives.
I’m on a real high being on The People’s Strictly… I can’t tell you what a dream come true it is!Phil Barnett
Through practical engagement in the performing arts, the company aims to build confidence in its young members, providing them with a hobby, a goal and a safe family environment. Since it started Phil, who volunteers approximately 40 to 60 hours a week, estimates that two thousand children have been through its doors, half of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. They have also raised over two million pounds through staging more than 50 shows and events.
Whilst Kidz R Us has helped some young people through tough times and bad situations, for others, it’s provided a fun hobby - and a few have even taken the skills honed at ‘Kidz’ and gone on to become professional actors in the West End.
But now it’s founder Phil’s turn to take to the stage! Trading directing for dancing, Phil is temporarily swapping his musical theatre stage for the Strictly stage. Wish him luck!