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Young people take over Stratford East

Published 17 July 2014

Young people will take centre stage at the Theatre Royal Stratford East later this month when aspiring writers, actors and composers present a season of work at the east London venue.

The Young People’s Season, which showcases a series of new plays and performances from poets and spoken word artists, will take place from 24 to 26 July.

Child Soldier, a short play by students from Rokeby Secondary School in Newham, is among the pieces to be presented at the venue. Inspired by the Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Olivier Award nominated production of Oh What A Lovely War, the show explores the musical’s themes and what war means to the students.

Young Artists Lab, a group of budding performers, writers, directors and composers aged 17 to 24, has taken a block of flats in Stratford as the starting point for its production. Flat Lives takes audiences on a journey that uncovers the secret lives of a number of residents, all of whom have a different story to tell.

The Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Youth Theatre will also present Boyz ‘N’ Gyals, a topical play that takes an amusing and honest look at how boys see girls and vice versa, exploring the pressures they experience to dress and behave in a predetermined way.

Other highlights of the season include an evening of rapid fire tongue-twisting spoken word and monologues as part of Poets Platform and a performance from Rhythm Of Men, a company of spoken word artists based in east London.

Talking about the youngsters’ work, Jan Sharkey-Dodds, Head of Young People’s Work at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, said: “It is a joy to see our young people grow in confidence as artists. This takeover season gives them a chance for their voices to be centre stage. Watch this space for our artists of the future.”

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