Testimonials & Reviews

What is it that sets Phoenix Theatre & Phoenix Youth Theatre apart? What is it that keeps cast members and pupils, young and old, coming back year-on-year for the past three decades?

Whether it’s the rush of treading the boards at His Majesty’s Theatre; the joy of rehearsing professional-level shows in a fun and clique-free, family environment; or making memories and friendships that will last a lifetime - read what current and former members have had to say, in their own words.

You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page for a selection of the critical plaudits that have come our way over the years.

Jill Ross in Phoenix Theatre’s The King and I (2017)

Jill, Phoenix Theatre

“I have grown up with this amazing company, since joining at the tender age of 9 in 1994. Aside from performing in some amazing shows, including many North East premieres, I have made so many friends who have honestly become more like family members than cast-mates. With a company that boasts as much fun and passion as it does talent, I truly believe that Phoenix Theatre and Phoenix Youth Theatre are 5-star theatre companies.”

Gregor, Phoenix Youth Theatre

“Phoenix Youth Theatre will always be a huge part of my life. I will cherish the lessons I learned, the skills I acquired and the friends I made for years to come. Liz, Clare, Kevin and all of the other teachers give up so much of their own time for Phoenix and are not thanked enough for their generosity and selflessness. I will forever consider myself lucky to have been one of their students, and even luckier to be one of their friends.”

Nicely and Benny in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s Guys & Dolls (2012)

Claire with new friend Hannah backstage at Phoenix Theatre’s Jekyll & Hyde (2017)

Claire S, Phoenix Theatre

“From the very first rehearsal, I was made to feel welcome and accepted in Phoenix Theatre. I was worried that I would be viewed as ‘the new girl’, but was so pleased by the company’s intolerance for cliques or ‘diva-like’ behaviour. Everyone was so enthusiastic and did everything to make me feel like a part of the family.”

Rachel, Phoenix Theatre & Phoenix Youth Theatre

“They say that every stranger you meet has the potential to change your life, and for me, Liz Milne and Clare and Kevin Haggart – who were once strangers – have changed mine. The highlight of my childhood was spending a Saturday afternoon learning from the best, as they helped me grow into a confident young woman. I will be eternally grateful for the opportunities Phoenix Youth Theatre has given me and the memories that will last a lifetime.”

Rachel as Liz in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s Billy (2015)

Chris performing in Phoenix Theatre’s Sondheim classic ‘A Little Night Music’ (2013)

Chris, Phoenix Theatre

“Phoenix Theatre isn’t just a theatre company for me – it is so much more and has shaped so much of my life over the last 10 years. This is largely because of the amazing lifetime friendships made, that go beyond the camaraderie at rehearsals. Phoenix productions are always exceptional, and this is really down to the ‘one team’ approach, with a committed and loyal cast.”

Liam, Phoenix Youth Theatre

“What Phoenix did for me growing up was invaluable. I learned a lot about how to carry myself as a person and that was largely due to Liz and Clare, as well as the wide range of different types of people that attended. It goes way beyond amateur dramatics and putting on shows - Phoenix has and still does mean the world to me.”

Liam as Oliver Twist in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s 2008 production

Adrienne and Phoenix Theatre performers backstage at an Ellen Kent Opera

Adrienne, Phoenix Theatre

“After finding them online, I knew straight away that I wanted to be part of Phoenix Theatre, because I knew I would be surrounded by a group of talented and friendly people who would help make me the best performer I could possibly be – without having to actually dedicate my entire career to it!”

Lucy, Phoenix Youth Theatre

“From weekly rehearsals and bi-annual productions, to performances with Ellen Kent Opera International and corporate events at the AECC and Skibo Castle, the experience has given me confidence and a lasting love of music and theatre. I am forever thankful to have taken part and grateful for the dedicated mentoring I received from Liz, Clare, Kevin and everyone involved.”

Lucy at a Phoenix Theatre Victorian Christmas event

Thomas and Katy as Sky and Sarah in Phoenix Youth’s Guys & Dolls (2012)

Thomas, Phoenix Youth Theatre

“Phoenix taught me confidence, Phoenix taught me self-belief, Phoenix taught me humility and that it was okay to be different. Many of the skills (public speaking, teamwork, pressure handling to name a few) that I gained from Phoenix I now use on a daily basis working at the BBC. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for the tools Phoenix gave me.”

Amy, Phoenix Theatre & Phoenix Youth Theatre

“The teaching at Phoenix Youth didn’t just stop at theatre skills for me. From the age of 7 – I was taught manners, how to be confident and how to act in a professional manner! It was always an amazing way to develop, not just as a performer! I love being part of the Phoenix Family to this day.”

Amy as Laurie in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s Oklahoma (2016)

Eleanor rehearsing Phoenix Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof (2019)

Eleanor, Phoenix Theatre & Phoenix Youth Theatre

“Phoenix is a such a fantastic theatre company. I have met the best people through it and have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Not only is it a fun and enjoyable group to be a part of, but the professionalism speaks through each show – we take what we do seriously because we love it. If you are considering joining a drama group and want to have a good time with great people, I highly recommend Phoenix Theatre.”

Michael, Phoenix Youth Theatre

“Joining Phoenix was 100% one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life! The high level of training, support and family atmosphere are all genuinely incredible! I could write a 20-page essay on this, but all I feel I have to say is, from the bottom of my heart - I would not be the person I was right now if it was not for you guys.”

Michael starring in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s The Pajama Game (2014)

Claire and members of Delta Nu in Phoenix Theatre’s Legally Blonde (2016)

Claire C, Phoenix Theatre & Phoenix Youth Theatre

“Whether you’re looking for a theatre company for yourself as an adult, or for your children to learn how to perform, I couldn't recommend Phoenix Theatre enough! Everyone gets their turn on stage, from the tiny wee toots up to the very experienced. Performing in amazing musicals such as Legally Blonde, Beauty And The Beast and Jekyll and Hyde, there is something for everyone. If you love singing, dancing, acting, and being part of some of the best amateur shows around, Phoenix Theatre is for you.”

Laurie, Phoenix Youth Theatre

“Phoenix was very special to me – besides giving me an understanding of theatre as an art form and as a profession, besides teaching me the discipline required to create good work, and besides giving me my first baby steps towards what is now my career in theatre production; Phoenix was a place I came to be someone else, and to tell a different story, where I got to live (for a savoured hour and a half) in a world I understood and even fit into.”

Phoenix Youth Theatre’s The Pajama Game (2014)


Claire T, Phoenix Theatre

“I cannot recommend Phoenix enough for both children and adults. I cannot believe how much Liz, Clare, Kevin and everyone involved have helped my own kids’ confidence and self-belief. They have been so supportive and treat every member – and even their parents – as part of the family. Now that I’m a member too, I have witnessed first-hand how much hard work and dedication goes into everything they do, and they do it all with such positivity and reassurance that people feel at ease and valued.”

What the Papers Say...

... From start to finish, the word 'amateur' just never enters your head ... this superb production boasts some of the youngest and smallest stars I've ever seen ... when it comes to singing and acting, Phoenix continues to knock it out of the park ... Yet another feather in Phoenix' already laden cap ... in fact every performer in Phoenix is a star ... Phoenix, which has brought some of the most exciting productions we've seen over the last 10 years now adds a pantomime to its theatrical crown. And what a jewel it is ... This show has everything you would expect from Phoenix; an excellent cast of principals, a characterful well-drilled chorus, a superb orchestra and lots of talented kids ... The brilliant Phoenix Youth Theatre took the Aberdeen Arts Centre by storm last night with a superb production of this classic musical ... The choreography is nothing short of miraculous ... The production is an acting masterclass on how to stage this musical ... cannot be recommended enough ...

Read more review snippets in each of our Past Shows sections, for both Phoenix Theatre and Phoenix Youth Theatre.