The National Youth Theatre will present its first West End season later this year when a selection of the company’s most talented young actors perform three shows in rep at the Ambassadors theatre.
The West End season, which will run from 23 September to 29 November and play alongside long-running show Stomp at the Ambassadors theatre, will feature This House playwright James Graham’s Tory Boyz, Michael Lesslie’s Prince Of Denmark and an adaptation of Romeo And Juliet by former NYT member and award-winning Red Velvet playwright Lolita Chakrabarti.
The esteemed youth company’s NYT Rep Company was formed following auditions with performers aged 18 to 25-years-old with 15 chosen to take part in the season and receive eight months practical training with the company and some of the industry’s leading theatre professionals.
The company will be directed in Graham’s political comedy about the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which was original commissioned by NYT as part of its 2008 season, by Thomas Hescott. Lesslie’s prequel to Hamlet will be directed by Associate Director for the National Theatre Discover Programme, Anthony Banks, and Chakrabarti’s 1980s-set Romeo And Juliet will be directed by the NYT’s Artistic Director, Paul Roseby.
Also playing as part of the season is the world premiere of Pope Joan, actress Louise Brealey’s playwriting debut about the first and only female to achieve Papal status. The historical drama will play at Piccadilly’s St James’ Church from 31 August to 15 September and is directed by former NYT member Abbey Wright.
Announcing the new season at a press launch at the Ambassadors theatre, the company also revealed that Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville is the latest of their high profile alumni to become a patron of the company. The company’s Artistic Director Roseby described the actor as “brilliantly talented,” adding: “Hugh attributes a lot of his success to the National Youth Theatre and we’re delighted to be welcoming him back as 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 commented: “I am delighted to become a patron of the National Youth Theatre. I’d not be doing what I do now were it not for this fantastic organisation: it opened my eyes to what was to become my career. It is an environment which, through theatre, celebrates individuality, demands collaboration, dedication and discipline and engenders mutual respect among its members, skills that are invaluable for any future walk of life. I look forward to waving the National Youth Theatre flag with pride.”