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.