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FIRST DAYS GALA raises funds for young creatives

Posted 08 Feb 2024

On 7 Feb the stars of today came out to support the talent of tomorrow at the National Youth Theatre’s (NYT) First Days Gala, taking place at The Roundhouse, London. The annual event raising vital funds to support emerging young talent.

In the presence of National Youth Theatre’s Royal Patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, NYT alumnus and comedian Joel Dommett presented the star-studded evening alongside Gaby Roslin and Rhys Stephenson. For one night only, a host of household names came together to make thousands of First Days in the creative industries possible for young talent who need it the most.

Headline musical performances included a show-stopping performance from NYT alumna, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, in which she was joined by NYT members for a one-off rendition of her hit single Murder On The Dancefloor. After recent chart-topping success thanks to being featured in the hit film, Saltburn, Sophie Ellis-Bextor performed alongside NYT members in a one-night-only performance choreographed by the film's choreographer and National Youth Theatre alumna, Polly Bennett. The performance was introduced by Enola Holmes star Susan Wokoma.

The evening also included a surprise performance by Heartstopper actor and NYT alumnus William Gao, and his sister Olivia Hardy, with their pop duo The Wasia Project. BBC Introducing stars flowerovlove and Yiigaa also took to the stage alongside singer songwriter Niall McNamee. Other celebrity guests included Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù and comedian Jon Culshaw.

Paul Roseby OBE, CEO & Artistic Director of National Youth Theatre said; “Thank you to our talent and supporters who came together last night to make a game-changing difference for the next generation. For many young people starting out today the arts are no longer seen as an option.The funds raised last night will help us change that for thousands of young people around the country, making first days possible for young talent on their creative journeys. First days on stage in leading venues. First days performing in front of a camera. First days walking into a film studio and first days stepping behind the scenes at a theatre where the magic of live entertainment is created.

The First Days Gala is in association with EON Productions and OMEGA. Supporting sponsors include Think, Little Lion Entertainment, Autograph Sound, Champagne Bollinger and MarGin. The First Days Gala Committee, chaired by NYT President Barbara Broccoli with Vice-Chair Tilly McAuliffe, is made up of Dawn Airey, Dan Borrelli, Paul Blackman, Judith Chan, Jacqueline de Croÿ, Simon Davies, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Graham Elton, Heather Greenwood, Nigel Hall, Nicola Howson, Diana Hiddleston, Alexandra Hillier, Joyce Hytner OBE, Daisy Lewis, Darcia Martin, Bruce Newbigging, Tanya Rose, Chantal Rickards OBE, and Maggie Todd.