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Past production

By Tife Kusoro
Directed by Mumba Dodwell

Talent from the NYT Playing Up Company present the world-premiere of NYT REP alum Tife Kusoro’s BOY / GIRL / BOY / GIRL, directed by Mumba Dodwell, who was awarded the 2019 Bryan Forbes Bursary. Set in a co-educational boarding school on a private island, BOY / GIRL / BOY / GIRL explores gender, power and the education system in a playful and piercing production.

Tife Kusoro’s credits include We Have Sinned and Fly Home Butterfly, which were shortlisted for awards including the Alfred Fagon Award (2017 + 2018), the Verity Bargate Award (2020), and the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, she is currently under commission to the Bush Theatre and has work in development with the Royal Court. Mumba Dodwell’s directing credits include the Offie nominated NYT REP production of Great Expectations at Southwark Playhouse in 2019 and Associate Director credits include the Alfred Fagon Award-winning Rockets and Blue Lights at the National Theatre and Manchester’s Royal Exchange and the NYT REP’s critically acclaimed national tour of Othello.

Running time: 1 hour 5 mins

Content information
Strong Language,
Themes of a sexism,
Conversation about miscarriage

By Urielle Klein-Mekongo
Directed by Sophie Ellerby

MESS! Is a funny, fast-paced and compelling drama, which will receive its world premiere in a production at the Workshop Theatre directed by NYT REP alum Sophie Ellerby, starring talent from the Playing Up Company. A group of young adults have their friendship tested when secrets are revealed at a house party. Using their podcast, No Permission, as a vessel to discuss “Messy dilemmas” Shannon, Chrissy, Coco, Jade and Alex navigate their way through life, love and friendship.

MESS! Is written by award-winning Playing Up graduate Urielle Klein-Mekongo, whose writing debut Yvette, won the Young Harts Writing Fest Audience Favourite, Kings Head Theatre Stella Wilkie Award & The East15 Pulse Award in 2017, enjoyed a sold-out run at the Bush Theatre, toured London venues including the South Bank Centre and received a Stage Debut award nomination. Sophie Ellerby is an NYT REP Company graduate who has previously worked as a writer with the NYT, Hightide, Nottingham Playhouse and the Belgrade Theatre.

Content Information
Strong language
Violence: Physical Violence
Nudity: Topless Male Nudity
Themes: Sexual Assault. Racial discrimination, Biphobia
Other: Drug use, Alcohol use, Haze

Performance times (Both productions will be performed each time with a short interval in-between)
7.30pm Thursday 7th July [SOLD OUT]
7.30pm Friday 8th July [SOLD OUT]
2.30pm Saturday 9th July
7.30pm Saturday 9th July [SOLD OUT]
Pay What You Can Tickets
If you require the assistance of a friend or helper to attend, we can make a free ticket available for your companion.

Playing Up is an Access to Higher Education Diploma accredited through OCN London. It is a practical ten month part time drama training programme, offering young people aged 19 - 24 who are not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) the opportunity to gain a Level 3 qualification in drama. Playing Up is delivered in partnership with The JGA Group.

Now in its 13th year, Playing Up welcomes applications from care leavers and those whose challenging circumstances may have prevented them from completing Secondary School or FE education. We welcome applications from those with SEND needs, those who are refugees or asylum seekers with the right to study in the UK and those who are underrepresented in our industry including those who identify as neurodivergent, disabled or from the Global Majority. Priority for places is given to those who are not in education, secure employment or training or those who have missed out on gaining level 3 qualifications at school or college.

Playing Up alumni include: Seraphina Beh (Top Boy), Ria Zmitrowicz (Three Girls) , Alice Vilanculo (Stage Award winner for ‘Outstanding Performance’ at Edinburgh 2019), Gavi Singh Chera (Our Generation National Theatre), Kylie Winfield (Stepping Up Trainee Manager) and Urielle Klein (Playing Up Trainee Manager and Mess! Writer.)

National Youth Theatre would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support of Playing Up in the 2021/22 academic year: The JGA Group, The Portal Trust, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Jacqueline Worswick and Jack Petchey Foundation.

We would also like to thank our principal supporters Arts Council England.