Paul Roseby, artistic director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT) has today announced a new season of work for the company including the world premiere of site-specific Homegrown – a response to recent events at Bethnal Green Academy and two brand new shows at the Arcola. Following the huge success of the rep seasons in 2013 and 2014, the NYT is to return to the Ambassadors Theatre with three new productions in October, one of them documented in development as part of a new collaboration with Sky Arts. The company will also return to Latitude Festival on 17 July with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife. Electricity and My Beautiful City will play at the Arcola Theatre 26 to 27 June, Homegrown will play at Raines Foundation Upper School in Bethnal Green during August with press night on 14 August and the 10-week rep season will start on 25 September 2015, with press performances on 6 and 7 October 2015.
The three shows in this year’s West End rep season include: Consensual – a brand new play about consent and sex education written by Evan Placey and directed by Pia Furtado; Wuthering Heights, in a new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel by Stephanie Street directed by Emily Lim and The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare’s play abridged especially for schools by Tom Stoppard, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland.
Roseby also announced that 2015 will see the NYT in collaboration with The Christmas TV & Film Company to create a specially commissioned film for Sky Arts. The film mixes documentary and drama and will star some of Britain’s best young acting talent. Sweet Sexteen (working title) will follow the NYT as they develop Consensual. Sweet Sexteen will air on Sky Arts this summer as part of the channel’s new ‘Sex Season’ which features a collection of programmes examining the subject through the prisms of art, literature and culture.
Roseby said: “This season will celebrate the diversity, vibrancy and talent of Britain’s youth, with fearless new voices. Much has been said about the current challenges young people from disadvantaged and ‘diverse’ backgrounds face trying to access our industry. We are the only company in the UK putting brave young talent on the West End stage in front of large audiences in a season of this scale. I call on those concerned about access to do something about it by supporting the National Youth Theatre’s free opportunities. They are accessible to all, empower talented young people to learn on stage in front of an audience and lead to professional employment in the creative industries”.
‘PLAYING UP’ DOUBLE-BILL
25 – 17 June 2015
by Miriam Battye
My Beautiful City
by Samuel Evans
Outside the West End, NYT will stage two new plays starring social inclusion participants at the Arcola Theatre as part of ‘Playing Up’. The double-bill continues the work of the NYT’s Playing Up course, now in its sixth year. The course, for 19-24 year olds not in full time education, employment or training, creates productions and commissions new work. It has an 85% success rate of moving young people into higher education, further training or employment. The productions for 2015 will be Electricity by Miriam Battye and Samuel Evans’ debut play My Beautiful City. They will explore mental health & intimacy in contemporary society.
created by Nadia Latif and Omar El Khairy
12 – 27 August 2015
Raines Foundation Upper School, Bethnal Green
Press Night: 14 August 2015
In February of this year three regular school girls left Bethnal Green Academy to travel to Syria and join ISIS. As part of the National Youth Theatre’s 2015 season Nadia Latif (Carrot, Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against A Brick Wall) and Omar El-Khairy (The Keepers of Infinite Space, Sour Lips) have responded, creating a brand new site specific piece exploring the implications of radicalism and extremism on the people and communities behind the headlines. The show will take place inside a school in Bethnal Green with a cast of 113. Latif and El-Khairy will work with the one of the biggest casts in London this year to create a theatrical visual spectacle.
2015 REP SEASON
18 September – 4 December 2015
Press Nights: 6 & 7 October 2015
by Evan Placey
directed by Pia Furtardo
by Emily Brontë
adapted by Stephanie Street
directed by Emily Lim
The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare
abridged by Tom Stoppard
directed by Anna Nilaand
Written by Writer’s Guild Award winner Evan Placey (Girls Like That, Holloway Jones), Consensual will be directed by Pia Furtardo (Dirty Great Love Story at Soho Theatre and L’Elisir D’Amore at Opera Holland Park). Exploring teenage testosterone, teacher pupil relationships and the age of consent in the UK, Consensual will examine the relationship between PSHE teacher Diane and her class, specifically fifteen year old Freddie. “Think of Sexual Relationship Education as a war zone and you’re the journalist. Give the facts, show the photos, but don’t get too close unless you want your head blown off”.
Wuthering Heights is adapted by Stephanie Street (Sisters) from the Gothic novel by Emily Brontë and directed by Emily Lim (Brainstorm, The Kilburn Passion and The Wardrobe ). When Heathcliff, a mysterious child is rescued and brought to Wuthering Heights, he develops an inseparable bond to Cathy, a friendship which soon develops into a passionate and iconic love spanning generations and ending with tragedy.
NYT Associate Anna Niland will direct Tom Stoppard’s abridged version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Stoppard’s version, originally abridged especially for the NYT to perform at the Shakespeare School’s Festival and the subject of a BBC documentary, is a 90 minute whirlwind which has delighted audiences and schools alike for the past decade.
Roseby also spoke of the success of the 2014 NYT Rep company, most of whom have found professional acting work since graduating from the company at the end of last year.
Among those success stories are: Fabian McCallum, who has recently been cast in new NBC comedy drama You, Me and the End of the World alongside Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer and Paterson Joseph; Jeremy Neumark Jones, who has recently filmed roles in ITV’s Jekyll and Hyde and Kate Kennedy who was cast in Channel 4’s Catastrophe. Across the country: Grace Chilton is currently appearing in Pride and Prejudice at the Crucible Theatre; Ragevan Vasan is in Hurling Rubble at the Sun at the Park Theatre and Ellie James appearing in Wildworks’ The Wolf Child at Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
More information at www.nyt.org.uk