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National Youth Theatre announces spring season and nationwide auditions

Wide search launched for new young theatrical talent.

National Youth Theatre

The UK’s leading youth arts organisation, The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT), have announced a spring 2018 programme as the 2017 season draws to a close. Nessah Muthy’s award-nominated The Host, which follows the life of a Syrian refugee in the UK, will return in February following its acclaimed run at The Yard Theatre. Directed by Zoe Lafferty, the production will run at the iconic Central London venue St James’s Church Piccadilly in conjunction with a major art installation reflecting experiences of refugees. For the first time, NYT will have a three-week engagement at Southwark Playhouse with Olivier Award nominee and NYT Alumni James Fritz’s (Parliament Square, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds) The Fall alongside Dennis Kelly’s DNA. Auditions and interviews will also be held from January to March in over 40 locations nationwide for ages 14 – 25 for NYT’s 2018 acting and backstage summer courses.

Originally commissioned by NYT in response to Brexit and the European refugee crisis, The Host tells the story of a Syrian refugee and the impact of his arrival on a local family, exploring race, relations and family ties. The production will be running alongside Suspended, a major installation by artist Arabella Dorman from 14 December – 8 February, featuring salvaged refugee clothing suspended above the nave of the church, reflecting the rootless and volatile experience of life as a refugee. A 360 video featuring real accounts of refugees living in the UK will accompany the production, exploring the responses and opinions of refugees based on their real life experiences. The Host runs 1-3 February 2018.

For the first time NYT will also have a three-week run at Southwark Playhouse with plays from two celebrated writers. Having received its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre as part of NYT’s 60th Anniversary celebrations, James Fritz’s topical play The Fall takes a candid look at young people’s relationships with older people and confronts the frightening prospect of ageing in a country undergoing a crisis of care. Running alongside The Fall will be DNA from Olivier Award winner Dennis Kelly (Matilda, Pinocchio). The Fall, directed by Matt Harrison, runs 28 April – 19 May with a Press Night on Thursday 3 May. DNA runs 1st – 18th May, directed by Sean Hollands.

Paul Roseby, NYT Artistic Director and CEO, said: “Thanks to our best audience ever this year, it’s a joy to be able to bring back these challenging pieces of new work in 2018. These plays tackle vitally important subjects, from the tension between the refugee crisis and Brexit in Nessah Muthy’s Writers’ Guild Award-nominated The Host, to the spiralling costs of social care for the elderly and lack of affordable housing for the young in James Fritz’s The Fall. Equally important is the fact that we’ll be auditioning at over 40 venues around the UK at the same time, with more than 10 new venues enabling us to reach those who haven’t been able to access our work before.”

NYT is holding auditions and interviews nationwide in the search for talented new members aged 14 – 25 for its 2018 intake. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of alumni such as Helen Mirren, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Craig and Matt Smith and take part in a range of acting and backstage courses.

NYT is holding a search for talented new members at more locations than ever before, with auditions and interviews taking place at more than 40 locations across the UK for ages 14 – 25 for its 2018 intake. Successful applicants will follow in the footsteps of celebrated alumni, getting the chance to develop their talent with the world’s leading youth arts organisation.

Paddington star Hugh Bonneville, who is a National Youth Theatre Patron and alumnus said:

The NYT’s application process gives applicants from all backgrounds across the UK the chance to join the prestigious company and build careers in the industry whilst learning to work with other young people. The courses provide skills development in theatre practice, voice and movement. The backstage programme provides practical experience, allowing participants to develop skills within a range of fields including lighting, sound, scenic construction, stage management or costume. This year NYT will launch a new Digital Course as part of the Backstage Courses.

After a successful audition for NYT’s Intake Acting Course, applicants aged 14-17 will gain a space on NYT’s Junior Acting Course; successful applicants aged 18-25 will join NYT’s three week Senior Acting Course or a four week Epic Stages Course. Intake courses take place in August. Acting Auditions consist of a three hour group workshop and an individual performance of a prepared speech. Speeches should be from a published play and learned by heart.

The NYT membership that participants receive on completion will allow them the opportunity to showcase their acting abilities through the NYT’s productions, locally, nationally and internationally. As part of membership participants can also be considered to be part of the NYT REP Company, a free alternative to formal training that offers a group of members workshops with leading practitioners and the chance to perform three productions in an established London venue.

This year the NYT REP Company celebrated its fifth year in the West End with a three-month run at the Ambassadors. Since its conception 77 actors have benefitted from the free training the course offers, which collectively would have cost nearly £700,000 to train for a year at drama school. Over half of the REP actors have been female and over 25% have been BAME. Over 95% of participants have gone on to work professionally in the creative industries with alumni including Sope Dirisu (2013), title role star of the RSC’s 2017 production of Coriolanus, Seraphina Beh (2016) recently seen as Madison Drake in EastEnders and who was cast after being spotted in the REP and started filming the following week, Ellise Chappell (2015) who plays Morwenna in BBC One’s Poldark and Lauren Lyle (2015) who stars as Marsali in the Amazon Prime drama series Outlander. It has recently been announced that the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded the NYT REP Company £75,000 over the next three years.

National Youth Theatre are proud to acknowledge the support of our major funders Arts Council England, the Pureland Foundation, Think Publishing and The David Pearlman Charitable Foundation who enable us to deliver our vital work with young people across the country.

To book for the shows, see:

www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/national-youth-theatre-the-host
www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/the-fall/
www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/DNA/

For details on the auditions, see:

http://www.nyt.org.uk/auditions#interviews.

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