This week, Paul Roseby, Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT), announced the beginning of a new NYT Rep company, offering 15 performers aged 18 – 25 the opportunity to complete a repertoire season in the west end. The select few, performing in three plays at the Ambassadors Theatre from 22 September to 1 December, will receive eight months of free practical training with NYT and leading industry professionals. The season consists of: James Graham’s Tory Boyz – an astute political comedy about saving face and avoiding scandal, Michael Lesslie’s Prince of Denmark – a prequel to Hamlet and lastly, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet by Lolita Chakrabarti, set in the New Wave era of the early 80s against a back-drop of youth unemployment and economic recession. The three current, challenging plays promise to stretch both the young performers and their audiences.
The 2013 season also includes the world premiere of Louise Brealey’s Pope Joan, at St James’ Church, Piccadilly. Brealey says, “I fell in love with the idea of such a woman existing in a world where a woman of any learning was considered a dangerous freak. I wanted to find out what she might have to say to a 21st century audience.” Pope Joan will be directed by former Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse, Abbey Wright.
Additionally, NYT will feature at Lattitude Festival with a dark devised musical retelling of Red Riding Hood and premier an adaptation of Pigeon English at Bristol Old Vic and the Edinburgh Festival in August. Concluding their Environmental Trilogy, the company then take on FLOOD by Rory Mullarkey, to be screened in London in the autumn.
In a final piece of news, Roseby is delighted to welcome back former NYT member, Hugh Bonneville as a patron of the organisation: “He’ll be a great champion for our cause as we make the case for the valuable social and economic benefits the National Youth Theatre has given to the UK over the past 57 years.” Bonneville attributes much of his own success to the NYT, which “celebrates individuality, demands collaboration, dedication and discipline and engenders mutual respect among its members.”