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National Youth Theatre present Frantic Assembly’s Othello (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

National Youth Theatre present Frantic Assembly's Othello (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

National Youth Theatre unveils 2017 season

First Published 3 April 2017, Last Updated 4 April 2017

Paul Roseby, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT), has today announced its new season of work, including a fifth West End season.

2017 marks 50 years of the organisation commissioning new work for young people, and in celebration, 50 play readings are taking place in weird and wonderful locations across the UK today. Some notable writers who received early commissions from NYT, such as James Graham (This House, Finding Neverland), Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child) and Zawe Ashton have plays being showcased.

The ‘50 Plays in a Day’, performed by NYT members and presented by young producers include, amongst others, James Graham’s political drama Tory Boyz at the Houses of Parliament with NYT alumni Ben Aldridge (Our Girl), Al Smith’s 1960s based Astronaut’s Wives Club at The National Space Centre Leicester, The Host, part of the NYT 2017 season, by Nessah Muthy in Calais at a Help Refugee Warehouse and The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy in Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire where Duffy is from. Selected plays will also be broadcast on Facebook Live and can be accessed via the National Youth Theatre’s social media and website.  

For autumn, following the success of four previous West End REP Seasons, the company will return to the Ambassadors Theatre for a fifth year in September with a brand new female-led adaptation of Jekyll And Hyde, exploring women’s roles and rights in Victorian society, by Evan Placey who wrote their 2015 hit Consensual.

The second REP show, which marks an exciting new collaboration, will see NYT present Frantic Assembly’s award-winning modern-day Othello under the direction of Frantic’s Associate Director Simon Pittman. 

It is also announced today that Barbara Broccoli will succeed Lord Waheed Alli as President of the National Youth Theatre. Broccoli is a one of the entertainment industry’s most successful female producers, perhaps best known for her work on the James Bond film franchise, including Skyfall and Spectre. Stage producer credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chariots of Fire, Once and The Kid Stays in The Picture.  

Paul Roseby said: “In 2017 we celebrate our growing diverse cohort by marking 50 years of new writing and I’m delighted to see our entrepreneurial young creatives simultaneously stage 50 plays in 50 locations across the UK today from catalogue of past commissions. I’m also a champion of the need for theatre to have greater parity with sport in education so it’s timely that we bring the passion for the beautiful game and passion for theatre together once more in re-staging Zigger Zagger.

“With seven further productions and work at over 100 sites nationwide, including a record 44 audition centres, NYT remains a vital and relevant contributor to our cultural landscape. We will continue to strive to do more to make sure that talented young people can access our opportunities regardless of where they’re from or their background.” 

For more information, visit the National Youth Theatre’s website.

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