Auditions Access Fund

The National Youth Theatre's Auditions Access Fund supported by Hugh Bonneville

In 2018, as part of the National Youth Theatre's ongoing commitment to outreach and access, we launched the Auditions Access Fund, supported by NYT Alumnus and Patron Hugh Bonneville. Over three years, the grant of £37,500 will support free participation in workshops and auditions at schools and youth groups around Great Britain which have lost drama provision. 

In our first year, we worked with 10 partner venues to bring free auditions to over 200 young people aged 14-25, from Hartlepool to Haverfordwest, Minehead to Derry and beyond. 

This year, the Auditions Access Fund returns and we are looking for our next batch of partner venues to help us bring our free workshops and auditions to young people who might not otherwise feel able to get involved with NYT. 

Apply to be a 2020 Partner Venue  

Do you work for a school facing arts cuts, a rural youth theatre, or maybe a community youth group? We’re looking for community champions to help us bring the Auditions Access Fund and its free participation workshops and audition days to your local area! 

Find out more about being a Partner Venue 

                              Apply now 

Deadline: Monday 7 October, 2019 

“I loved it. It was an experience that I’ll never forget” – 2019 Auditionee 


"The chance for young people to explore their creative talents is essential for their development. For some, taking part in drama can inspire a career in the creative industries; for all, it provides invaluable skills, building confidence in communication and self-expression. The decline of drama in schools and cuts to local youth theatre groups is a reality, which is why I am establishing the NYT Audition Access Fund. This initiative will give young talent in specially selected areas of the country where access to drama is under threat the chance to audition for and experience the National Youth Theatre for free. Becoming a member of the NYT changed my life and I’m delighted to be playing my part in giving the next generation a similar opportunity."  

Hugh Bonneville  


How do I get my school or youth group involved? 

Applications to be one of our partner organisations in 2020 are now open. The deadline to apply is Monday 7 October 2019, and applicants will hear shortly after that date. 

What sort of areas are you looking to come to? 

Anywhere! In 2019, we visited the below partner venues. In 2020, we want to come to a range of areas across the UK, with limited arts provision, and enthusiastic partners. 

Theatre for Life Youth Theatre – Southampton
Pembrokeshire College - Haverfordwest
The Ebbsfleet Academy - Ebbsfleet, Kent 
Cockburn John Charles Academy - Leeds
The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College - Hartlepool  
Liskeard School and Community College - Liskeard, Cornwall 
The Playhouse Theatre - Derry/Londonderry
The Core - Corby, Northampton
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Fusion Young Performers - Minehead, West Somerset

When will the Auditions Access Fund workshops and auditions take place? 

The free participation workshop and audition day will be organised with each individual partner venue, but will take place between November 2019 and March 2020. Young people who successfully audition via the Auditions Access Fund, will be offered a place on our 2020 Summer Courses and will become an NYT Member. 

What happens if I am successful in my audition? 

If you successfully audition you will be invited to join one of the National Youth Theatre's prestigious summer courses in London. Following the course you will become a company member of the organisation which can open doors to a wealth of further opportunities within the National Youth Theatre and beyond. Find out more about NYT Membership

How else can the National Youth Theatre help me take part? 

The Auditions Access Fund is not the only way to audition for National Youth Theatre for free. You can apply for a means-tested bursary to apply to NYT as part of our main Auditions and Backstage Interviews roadshow, visiting venues across the UK from November 2019 – March 2020. 

Work in a school? We also offer the chance to bring a National Youth Theatre audition day to your school, with concessionary rates available to state schools. Find out more here

Auditions and Backstage Interviews