Whether the sun makes an appearance or not, the summer season brings out the very best of the British theatre scene. From festival storytelling, to outdoor screenings and park reads, here’s our highlights to occupy curious theatre lovers from across the UK
1) ESCAPE to a festival
While you may not have been lucky enough to bag a Glasto ticket for this weekends world famous pilgrimage of the season, there’s still an overwhelming choice of festivals to keep anyone busy this summer. We’re delighted to be teaming up with a new venture born out of the Edinburgh Fringe hosting comics, theatre and music. The Great Estate has poached some of the best stand ups in town including Mark Watson and Nish Kumar in a blissful estate setting on the edge of Edinburgh. Running from 16th-21st August it’s a great one to consider if you are already embracing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (tickets even include a shuttle bus into town!) Better still, proceeds go towards the Scottish Youth Theatre & the National Youth Theatre helping fund our future productions and opportunties. Or if you fancy a day of festive entertainment, Chichester’s Priory Park Festival offer young people tickets for just £16. Headliners include Seth Lakeman, The Feeling and NYT Patron Sophie Ellis-Bexter.
2) EMBRACE the outdoors
NYT Alumnus and Olivier-winning actress Michelle Terry is playing the title role in hugely anticipated Henry V in this seaon’s run at the Regents Park Open Air theatre. The casting alone is a ground breaking statment in gender-blind opportunities, and a must see for Shakespeare lovers. It’s a limited run so look sharp for these tickets, and pray for sun, or at least a dry night in the heart of the park. You can catch more about how Terry prepared for her role in recent interview with The Stage. And its not just theatre that braves the elements, there are loads of outdoor screens paying homage to favourites throughout the season, check out Sommset Houses’ line up, from ‘Sunset Boulevard’ to ‘10 things I hate about you’, there is a classic for everyone.
3) READ new writing
We all know finding that perfect speech takes time, a lot of reading and a little bit of detective work. Many actors find their perfect monologue hiding in new writing from bookshops in the National Theatre, Royal Court or Frenchies. If you can’t get to the stores, second hand copies (and much cheaper!) can be found online at ABE Books. We always recommend reading a play in one go to get a true sense of the arc in the story and the character’s journey. So why not pitch up at your favorite park or public space and take in the fresh air with a good page turner.
4) WATCH a new play
New writing is everywhere this summer and is often the best way to platform new directors and actors, exploring hot topics and current affairs. Check out NYT Alumni Matt Smith in Unreachable at the Royal Court or the NYT’s season at the Finbourgh Theatre made up of new writing by James Fritz, Bola Agbaje and Mohsin Hamid. Both draw on themes around our online culture and will no doubt get you talking.
5) LEARN something new
For many, the summer is a chance to unwind and relax between studies. But why not make the most out of your spare time and hone your skills with a NYT masterclass. For less than £50 a day, you could learn a new skill in ‘Acting for Screen’, get to grips with Shakespeare or nail your next audition speech. All our current Masterclasses run across 6 days in the summer in London, Manchester and Guildford, and are a fantastic way to learn more about the organisation, meet like minded creatives and invest in your talent.
As a Youth Arts Charity we are always looking for new ways to create awareness for our cause. This summer our team will run the Vitality 10k in London. NYT champion and fundraiser Clionha McCorly tells us why she’s up for the challenge. ‘I love to be outdoors as much as I can during the summertime and the great thing about running is that it’s free! There is such a sense of achievement that comes with signing up for races, especially when it is for a good cause – raising funds and awareness for NYT. A lot of people forget that we are a charity and this will be a really fun way to spend the day with the BRILLIANT NYT team, whilst promoting an incredible worthwhile cause. Why not sign up for a run near you and fundraise for NYT. You don’t need to worry about being fast – you can run, walk or crawl!” Why not sign up for your nearest race, or go along and support others. It’s the ultimate feel good summer day out.
7) PLAN your next venture
From grabbing tickets or cheap flights, it’s always good to get ahead of the game. This summer we’ve released a limited number of early bird offers for our 2017 Auditions. So if you are thinking about applying to join the National Youth Theatre, now is the time to secure your audition for the best rate! Other early birds can also grab £20 tickets to a glitzy night at the Shaftsbury Theatre! ‘The Story of Our Youth’ celebrates faces from our past and present and our Diamond 60th Anniversary. This is one night not to miss and tickets are going fast!