THE first Furness Festival of Youth Theatre brought out hidden talent as schools put on their productions at the Coronation Hall, Ulverston, in April 1994.

Shows ranged from a 20-minute extract of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, from the Lakes School, Windermere, to Ulverston Victorian High School with The Sympathy Card by Barrow's former writer-in-residence Kevin Fegan.

The Festival Shield went to Barrow's Park View School for a musical production of Nathan, with Darren Wright in the title role.

It was produced and directed by David Simpson and was about taking and driving cars illegally.

The first year proved to be so popular that all the schools involved in the 1994 event entered again for 1995, plus new productions from Haverigg and Crosscrake Primary Schools.

Entries also came from the ACT youth Theatre Group and the junior section of Grange Amateur Dramatic Society.

The 1995 event was held over five nights at the Coronation Hall, with four half-hour plays staged each night.