The UK’s leading youth arts organisation, The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT) today announces 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 1 – 18 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. 

It is also announced today that NYT has a new Development Board with members including Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Annette Lynton Mason, Diana Hiddleston, Helen Northup, Freddie Lewis, Tilly McAuliffe and Chair Peter Clayton. 
National Youth Theatre are still to announce their full 2018 season.

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:
“I loved meeting this year’s National Youth Theatre REP Company recently after watching their terrific, visceral production of Othello in the West End. I’d encourage any young person looking to find an outlet for their talent to sign up for an audition. The skills you develop at the National Youth Theatre will help set you up for whatever you want to go on to do in life, on stage or off it. And you’ll make lifelong friends, too.”

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.


Press contact
Francesca Hoare and Maisie Lawrence at The Corner Shop PR - 020 7831 7657 / / 


Available HERE

The Host
By Nessah Muthy
Directed by Zoe Lafferty

St James’s Church Piccadilly, W1J 9LL
Thursday 1 – Saturday 3 February
Evening performances: 7.30pm
Tickets will go on sale on Friday 15 December 
Box Office: 020 7452 3000

The Fall
By James Fritz
Directed by Matt Harrison

Southwark Playhouse
Saturday 28 April – Saturday 19 May
Press performance: Thursday 3 May
Evening Performances: 28, 30 April, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 May
Matinee Performances:  12, 19 May
Box Office: 020 7407 0234

By Dennis Kelly
Directed by Sean Hollands
Southwark Playhouse
Tuesday 1 May – Friday 18 May
Evening Performance: 1, 5, 8. 15 May
Matinee Performance: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 May
Box Office: 020 7407 0234

Audition dates are now on sale and can be purchased here. All dates are listed below. 
Applicants need to apply by 24 March 2018. Auditions cost £46 and the NYT operate a bursary fund for those facing financial barriers to applying. In 2017 £650,000 worth of support has been awarded.  

Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth Arts Centre 
 23 and 24 Feb  
Barnsley Civic 
17 March  
Belfast Grand Opera House 
10 Feb  
Bexhill On Sea , De La Warr Pavilion Marina 24 March 
Birmingham, MAC
24 and 25 Feb   
Blackburn, The Bureau 
17th March 
Birmingham, Old REP 
17 and 18 Feb 
Bradford, Alhambra Theatre 
3 Feb 
Bridlington Spa 
3 and 4 March 
Brighton, Dome 
3 and 4 Feb 
Bristol, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
17, 18 Feb, 10, 17 March 
Bristol, Hamilton House 
14 - 17 Feb 
Bournemouth - Arts University Bournemouth 3 March 
Canterbury, Gulbenkian 
17, 18 Feb 
Cardiff, WMC 
3 and 4 Feb 
Cornwall, Hall for Cornwall 
17 Feb 
Chelmsford, Tomorrow's Talent 
16 Feb 
Edinburgh, Traverse 
10 and 11 Feb 
Elgin, Gordonstoun School
25 Feb 
Glasgow, Platform 
17 and 18 Feb 
Guildford, G Live
3 March 
Hull, Hull Truck 
10 Feb 
Lancaster, The Dukes 
 3, 4 Feb 
Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse 
15, 16, 17 Feb 
Leicester, The Curve 
10, 17 & 18 Feb 
Liverpool, Everyman 
3 March 
London, Archway Methodist 
12 - 16 Feb 
London, ArtsDepot
 20, 21 Jan 
London, Theatre Peckham 
15, 16 Feb & 3, 4 March 
London, Jackson's Lane 
4, 11, 18, 25 Feb & 4 March 
London, London Bubble 
12 -16 Feb 
London, National Youth Theatre  
13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 Jan, 10 - 18 Feb 
London, Toynbee Studios
 10 - 17 Feb 
London, St James the Less, Pimlico
27 Jan, 3, 10, 17, 24 Feb, 3, 10, 17, 24 March 
Manchester, Z Arts  (Backstage Interviews) 
24 Feb 
Manchester Royal Exchange
3, 4, 10, 11, 20, 21, 24 Feb 
Milton Keynes - Stantonbury Theatre 
24 Feb, 17 March 
Newcastle / Gateshead, Baltic 
17, 18 March 
Northampton, Royal & Derngate
16 Feb 
Norwich, Theatre Royal  
15 -18 Feb  
Nottingham Playhouse 
17 Feb 
Plymouth, Devonport Guildhall 
17, 18 Feb 
Sheffield, Sheffield Theatres
23, 24 Feb 
Swansea - Gower College 
24 March  
York Theatre Royal 
15,16 Feb  


James Fritz is an award-winning playwright known for Four Minutes Twelve Seconds (Hampstead Theatre and West End), his first full length play which was nominated for the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre and won him the Most Promising Playwright prize at the Critics Circle Theatre Awards the following year. Other works include the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe hit Ross & Rachel and the Bruntwood Prize-winning Parliament Square (Manchester Royal Exchange). This year, his radio play Comment is Free won the Imison and Tinniswood Awards at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, marking the first time a single writer has won both awards in the same year.

Matt Harrison is a director, devisor and theatre maker and was the recipient of the NYT REP Bryan Forbes Directors Bursary in 2014. Direction includes Snowbird (Tristan Bates Theatre), Tales from the Bad Years (Landor Theatre), Futures (Lost Theatre), Please Wait Patiently (National Theatre Temporary Theatre) and The Pirates of Penzance (Tabard Theatre - Nominated for 'Best Musical Production' & 'Best Ensemble' in the 2013 Off West End Awards). Assistant Director credits include Kneehigh award-winning The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and the upcoming West End production of Lady Windermere's Fan directed by Kathy Burke.

Sean Hollands was the Bryan Forbes bursary recipient in 2016 and previously directed DNA at the Ambassadors Theatre. Hollands is a Theatre Practitioner at Frantic Assembly and a Creative Associate at Epiphany VR. Assistant Directing credits include National Youth Theatre’s Pigeon English and Romeo and Juliet (both Ambassadors Theatre).

Dennis Kelly’s writing credits for theatre include Osama the Hero, The Gods Weep (both Hampstead Theatre) and The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas (Royal Court). For television he co-wrote and co-created Pulling and wrote and created Utopia. Dennis Kelly also wrote the book for the Olivier and Tony winning Matilda the Musical (Cambridge Theatre).

Zoe Lafferty is an Associate Director with The Freedom Theatre in Palestine, a director with the Old Vic 12 and Creative Producer with ice&fire. Previous directing credits include Queens of Syria (Young Vic; National Tour), The Siege (Nottingham Playhouse; National Tour), The Keepers of Infinite Space (The Park Theatre), The Fear of Breathing (Finborough Theatre), Concrete Jungle (Riverside Studios) and Alice in Wonderland (The Freedom Theatre, Palestine).

Nessah Muthy is a writer for TV and theatre. She has worked with a number of theatres and companies including the Royal Court, HighTide, Pursued By A Bear Productions, Cardboard Citizens and Theatre Centre. For screen, Nessah has written for Holby City, following successful completion of the show’s shadow scheme and has previously written for EastEnders: E20. She is currently developing a number of ideas and was part of the BBC Drama Writers Scheme for 2016.

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