How did it all begin?
It all began by accident, really. In 2004 a group of friends wanted to put on a musical during the summer holidays, entirely on their own and without an adult director, and their trusting and enterprising head teacher let them have the school theatre for three weeks. With a cast, band and crew drawn from local schools, and no one aged over twenty, a production of Guys and Dolls was staged. Everyone involved had the most amazing summer producing incredible theatre with like-minded people their own age, and the audiences loved it too. When it became apparent it had even made a profit, it seemed silly not to do it again the summer after.
Seventeen years later, more than 700 young people have had their own 'RicNic experience' and have contributed to other successful, sell-out productions, including West Side Story, Thoroughly Modern Millie, My Fair Lady, Singin' in the Rain and other classic shows. Every year, participants say that the whole experience is unique, and even life-changing, for four main reasons:
What makes RicNic so special?
After thirteen successful shows in Hampshire, where we perform at the magnificent Theatre Royal in Winchester, it seemed selfish not to take the RicNic brand somewhere else. So - with the Hampshire shows still continuing every summer - we opened RicNic Oxford in 2012 (performing at the Old Fire Station) and RicNic London in 2017 (performing at the Stockwell Playhouse).
That's our story, in a nutshell. Many key RicNic positions are still held by the friends who set it up back in 2004 (we flatter ourselves that we're still sort of young...) and new projects are set up with the help of RicNic alumni.