The National Youth Theatre have announced that the UK’s leading casting resource, Spotlight, is to sponsor industry performances for their REP cast in the West End this autumn.
The industry performances of Romeo and Juliet, Pigeon English and DNA, which will take place on Tuesday 11 October, 18 October and 15 November, will offer the opportunity for NYT and Spotlight to work collaboratively to ensure a wide representation of agents and casting directors attend the performances to give the company members the best chances of future success within the industry.
Spotlight, founded in 1927, is the UK's leading casting resource with a network of over 60,000 performers that are connected to castings submitted by thousands of production companies, broadcasters and independent casting directors who use Spotlight as their key casting platform.
Spotlight’s CEO Ben Seale said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring the NYT REP season. Nurturing young, fresh talent and helping provide access to free drama training is crucial to creating the next generation of UK actors.”
The NYT REP is a completely unique, free talent development initiative allowing the best young talent to work for nine months with leading institutions culminating in three months of performances in the West End. Inspired by traditional repertory training, it was set up by Artistic Director Paul Roseby in 2012 to provide a much needed free alternative to expensive formal training. Over 30,000 audience members, including over 300 school groups from around the UK, have attended since 2013 and this year the REP returns with a 55% BAME cast. REP company alumni include Sope Dirisu who recently starred in BBC1’s Undercover, Kate Kennedy was acclaimed for her performance as Helena earlier this year in the BBC’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Zainab Hasan who appeared in Boy at the Almeida and Luke Pierre and Conor Neaves from the 2015 REP who are currently making their professional debuts at the National Theatre.
The REP season for 2016 includes a brand new production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, abridged by Cheek by Jowl’s Owen Horsley and set in 1950s post war London, where brutality, prejudice and ruthless gang culture prevail. The adaption is directed by Kate Hewitt (Far Away and associate director, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory the Musical). Alongside Romeo and Juliet the NYT are to give the West End premiere of Pigeon English, Stephen Kelman’s moving 2011 Man Booker prize shortlisted novel, adapted for stage for by award-winning playwright and Young Vic Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan (How Nigeria Became). The production follows 11-year-old Ghanaian school boy Harri who lives on an inner city London council estate and looks at the sometimes harsh reality of adulthood in modern day Britain. The 2016 REP season will also include a two week run of Dennis Kelly’s DNA, following a group of teenagers after a practical joke goes tragically wrong, pushing them towards the edges of society.
Founded in 1956 the NYT is the pioneering force for youth theatre around the world and is recognised as the leading provider of free alternatives to formal theatre training, with alumni including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Chiwetel Ejiofor CBE and Sir Daniel Day Lewis. Since being founded the world’s leading youth arts charity has nurtured the talent of over 100,000 young people.