National Youth Theatre Announces The Tenth Anniversary Of Its Successful REP Company

The company has seen its former members go on to achieve remarkable success with graduates playing leading roles on stage and screen.

By: Oct. 13, 2022
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In 2012 Paul Roseby, Artistic Director and CEO of National Youth Theatre (NYT), launched a new REP company that would provide intensive real-world experience each year to a group of young performers and creatives. Taking inspiration from the old repertory company model, the NYT REP has sought to bring its training and learning model sharply into the modern era. As well as presenting theatre, members of the company have performed and created work with NYT at London Fashion Week, This Bright Land and Latitude festivals, the Olympic and Paralympic Team Welcome Ceremony, and Glasgow's COP26 presenting work that brought young people's views on the climate crisis to the conference.

One of the only companies to be bold enough to stage productions the day theatres were allowed to reopen following the pandemic, the REP premiered a new production of Animal Farm at Northampton's Royal and Derngate on 17 May 2021. Other notable productions have included the West End debut of James Graham's Tory Boyz in 2013, the first stage adaptation of Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife at The Ambassadors Theatre in 2014, Macbeth at the Garrick Theatre which was the first production of the play in the West End to feature a female Macbeth, and Animal Farm, as part of an Arts Council funded national tour, performed on a farm at an outdoor theatre in Shropshire newly created in response to the pandemic.

The company has worked with a dazzling array of creative talent including Josh Azouz, Neil Bartlett, Ned Bennett, Moira Buffini, Lolita Chakrabarti, Miranda Cromwell, Frantic Assembly, James Graham, Kane Husbands, Emily Lim, Michael Morpurgo, Gbolahan Obisesan, Evan Placey, Ed Stambollouian, Stephanie Street, Roy Alexander Weise and more.

The company has seen its former members go on to achieve remarkable success with graduates playing leading roles on stage and screen. Recent success includes: Lauren Lyle can currently be seen in the title role in new ITV drama Karen Pirie, and is a regular in Amazon Prime's Outlander. Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù is the lead in Sky's Gangs of London, which is about to return for season 2. He also recently appeared in leading roles in feature films Mr Malcolm's List and Mothering Sunday and was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star award for his performance in His House. Isabel Adamokah Young is in Netflix's Heartstopper, flagship AppleTV+ series Foundation, won Best Actress at the Black British Theatre Awards for her performance as Juliet at Regent's Park Theatre and is currently starring in Hamlet at Bristol Old Vic. Shiv Jalota, a regular on EastEnders, was the first global majority actor to play lead in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Seraphina Beh will return to the upcoming season of Netflix's Top Boy and Jenny Walser will return in a major role to the second season of Netflix's hit Heartstopper. Walser recently starred alongside fellow REP grad Simon Lennon in Narcissist at Chichester Festival Theatre, Lennon has also appeared as a regular in BBC1 One's Our Girl and ITV's Emmerdale. Kate Kennedy stars in the major TV adaptation of Halo and as Helena in the BBC's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Temi Wilkey is part of the writing team for Sex Education season 4, was shortlisted for Verity Bargate Award and made her writing debut at the Bush Theatre with The High Table. Zainab Hasan recently played the lead in Antigone at Regents Park Open Air Theatre, after appearing in Chasing Hares at the Young Vic. Eloka Ivo recently appeared in The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Joanna McGibbon plays a lead role in Netflix's Shadow and Bone. Ellie James was in feature film The Lost Daughter and is set to star in Tuesday with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Niall McNamee is playing the lead in feature film Love Without Walls and recently appeared in Sky's Bad Sisters. Alice Feetham plays a leading role in Sky's Save Me and Sophie Ellerby was awarded a HighTide first commission award for her play Lit.

Paul Roseby OBE, CEO & Artistic Director said: "It's 10 years since we launched the NYT REP in response to the rise in drama school fees, but the challenges faced by young talent around the UK today is greater than ever with the cost of living crisis and decline of arts in schools. This year's REP will offer opportunity, entertainment and hope. Young will talent takeover an iconic West End venue with tickets from £10, Bola Agbaje's award-winning debut is revived offering a welcome shake-up to the curriculum and a young director supported by the Bryan Forbes Bursary reinterprets a classic for our time. Learning by doing it through a free industry-based audience-facing approach has been a game-changer over the last 10 years, as the REP graduates leading major shows prove. Now more than ever we must support flexible free alternative routes for young talent to take centre stage and bring young talent and audiences back to the West End."

In this 10th year the NYT REP company led by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland will be made up of: Hannah Zoé Ankrah, Tomás Azocar-Nevin, Eleanor Booth, Chloe Cooper, Daniel Cawley, Jack D'Arcy, Jez Davess-Humphrey, Jessica Enemokwu, Isolde Fenton, Kira Golightly, Thuliswa Magwaza, Dalumuzi Moyo, Olivia Ng, Jasmine Ricketts, Nathaly Sabino and Jerome Scott. Each year NYT REP members are mentored by industry professional including casting directors, producers and performers. This year they will be mentored by Isabel Adomakoh Young, Amy Ball, Rikki Beadle-Blair, Johnny Capps, Steffan Donnelly, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Lucianne McEvoy, Ray Fearon, Kane Husbands, Bryony Jarvis-Taylor, Kate Kennedy, Lauren Lyle, Ruth O'Dowd, Amanda Wilkin and Ashley Zhangazha.


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