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National Youth Theatre's W/E Season (update)

Theatre preview

THE NATIONAL Youth Theatre of Great Britain’s 2013 season sees the creation of a new Rep Company for 15 young actors, who will perform in three shows in rep at London’s Ambassadors Theatre.

The ‘West End Season’ at The Ambassadors Theatre includes Tory Boyz by James Graham, directed by Thomas Hescott; Prince of Denmark by Michael Lesslie, directed by Anthony Banks; and an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Olivier Award-nominated writer and actor, and former NYT member, Lolita Chakrabarti, directed by Paul Roseby.

The season also features the world premiere of Louise Brealey’s Pope Joan at St James’ Church, Piccadilly.

The shows are suitable for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, and for GCSE and A-Level English Literature, Drama or Theatre Studies syllabuses. An accompanying education pack will be available later in the year.

Tory Boyz – Matinees at 2.30pm on November 19 and 20; Evenings at 7.30pm on September 24 and 25; October 1, 2, 8, 9, 22 and 29; and November 5, 6, 12, 13, 26 and 27.

Originally commissioned by the NYT, and performed as part of their 2008 season, Tory Boyz is a bold and astute political comedy that goes behind the scenes of the corridors of power at Westminster where saving face and avoiding scandal is the order of the day.

James Graham, author of the current National Theatre hit This House, has updated his original script to make this an even more explosive and poignant play. As the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill divides the Conservative party of 2013, the subject matter of Tory Boyz has never been more topical.

Prince of Denmark – Matinees at 2.30pm on September 23, 24 and 30; October 2, 7, 9 and 23; and November 4, 6, 11, 13, 25, 26 and 27.

Prince of Denmark by Michael Lesslie is a prequel to Hamlet, set a decade before the events of Shakespeare’s play. There’s romance, rivalry and rebellion in the air as teenagers Hamlet, Ophelia and Laertes rage against their parents’ expectations in royal Elsinore.

Prince of Denmark was previously performed at the National Theatre in 2008 before performances of Hamlet with Rory Kinnear in the title role.

Romeo and Juliet – Matinees at 2.30pm on September 25 and 27; October 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 22, 23 and 29; and November 1, 5, 6, 8, 12, 22, 26, 27 and 29.

Romeo and Juliet has been adapted for the NYT by Lolita Chakrabarti, author of the Olivier Award-nominated Red Velvet. The adaptation is set in the Skamania/New Wave era of the early 80s, against a back-drop of youth unemployment and economic recession.

This version of Romeo and Juliet was originally created for the BBC 2 documentary When Romeo Met Juliet.

There will be double bills of Prince of Denmark and Romeo and Juliet at 2.30pm on October 2, 8, 9, 22 and 23; and November 5, 6, 26 and 27; and at 7.30pm on November 19 and 20.

Pope Joan – August 31 to September 15.

An atmospheric church in the heart of London, St James’s Piccadilly is the perfect setting for Louise Brealey’s new play which tells the story of the legend that is Pope Joan – the first and only female to achieve Papal status, according to 15th Century myth.

Described as controversial, moving and enthralling, audiences can witness an unfolding of unbelievable and prescient events that have profound modern parallels, especially given the current debate about the ordination of female bishops in the Anglican Church.

Louise Brealey is an acclaimed actress on stage and screen, with recent credits including The Stone (Royal Court Theatre), Sixty Six Books (Bush Theatre), The Government Inspector (Young Vic) and The Trojan Women (Gate Theatre), as well as the role of Molly Hooper in BBC TV’s Sherlock. Pope Joan is her first play.

St James’ Church, Piccadilly, is the parish of Rev Lucy Winkett, formerly Canon Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral, and a vocal supporter of the introduction of female bishops. The show will be directed by former NYT member and former Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse, Abbey Wright.

Read more about the National Youth Theatre’s West End Season.