The National Youth Theatre (NYT) has announced free auditions around the country in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, London and Manchester this February. Young people will also be able to audition online using the National Youth Theatre Hub. Full audition dates and information can be found here. Successful applicants will be invited to take part in summer intake courses, which for the first time will take place in cities around the country in an expansion of the charity’s national programme. Free workshops in partnership with local community groups are taking place in each area to prepare young people to audition, as well as accessible auditions in local non-mainstream schools.
National Youth Theatre auditions advice from NYT Patron and Alumnus Matt Smith:
“Pick a speech that you like, work as hard as you can and try your absolute best, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you don’t get in this year there’s always next year. It’s a great company and if you work hard, apply yourself and bring the right spirit, it’s a place where you can really learn and develop and a company that will nurture you.”
NYT alum and Coronation Street star Sair Khan said:
“I didn’t imagine I’d ever have the opportunity to get involved in something like the National Youth Theatre. Doing that first audition was a really pivotal moment for me. It really helped me take those first steps in believing in myself.”
NYT REP alum and Karen Pirie Star Lauren Lyle said:
“National Youth Theatre is one of the best things I ever did and changed my life. It’s the most creative time to explore what you want to do next in the creative industries and I still use the things I learnt there every day. There’s nothing else like it.”
NYT Artistic Director and CEO Paul Roseby said:
“Being National means being local and we’re proud to be in seven different arts venues around the country with our summer intake courses for the first time. The need to support young talent nationwide is greater than ever and we’re committed to responding to that challenge with this free offer. Alongside this activity this year we’ll be boosting our national reach with a dynamic creative partnership with Leeds 2023, opportunities with our 10 Associate Companies around the country and major new programmes in Wales and the North East coming soon.”
National Youth Theatre auditions for young people interested in joining the charity’s Acting Member in 2023 are open to young people aged 14-25, and, through our Inclusive Practice ethos, those up to 30 for learning disabled or neurodiverse young people. Backstage interviews are also open via the Hub for young people interested in Costume, Lighting, Scenic Construction, Sound and Stage Management. Successful auditionees can go on to appear or take on technical theatre roles on high profile NYT productions around the UK and in the West End. 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. This year’s auditions take place in person and online via the National Youth Theatre Hub. You can sign up for the Hub Subscription here for just £2-a-month and free bursary places are available. Over 10,000 young people have subscribed to the NYT Hub since it was launched in November 2020 in response to the pandemic.
The Hub gives subscribers access to over 24 online interactive workshops and talks a-year with industry leaders and NYT alumni. Recent guests have included NYT Patron Ian McKellen, Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù (Gangs of London), and Emma Rice (Wise Children). Subscribers can also access online resources including a self-tape masterclass with alumnus and Patron Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Die Another Day), a writing workshop with playwright and screenwriter James Graham (Quiz, Labour of Love) and a directing workshop with Prasanna Puwanarajah (Ballywalter). On top of this, the scheme includes the opportunity to audition to become an Acting member, to interview to become a Backstage Member and the chance to take part in Creative Leadership training with no extra cost. The Hub platform allows subscribers to connect with a nationwide network of young creatives, access community courses and events and unlock discounts for masterclasses and merchandise. Hundreds of young people around the UK auditioning at their schools also gain access to NYT’s Hub. Young people aged 11-26 can subscribe to the NYT Hub, with 14-25-year-olds eligible to audition or interview for acting or backstage membership.
The charity’s alumni includes some of the world’s most celebrated theatrical and performing talent including Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Daniel Day Lewis, Andrea Riseborough, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, Ed Sheeran, Colin Firth, Regé-Jean Page, Derek Jacobi, Zawe Ashton, Hugh Bonneville, Lennie James, Matt Lucas, David Harewood and Orlando Bloom. NYT’s Backstage alumni include award-winning talent working globally at leading theatres and stadiums and include fashion designer Gareth Pugh, Olympic Ceremony Technical Director Piers Shepperd, former Unicorn Theatre Artistic Director Purni Morell, lighting designer Howard Harrison and designer Rob Howell. It also includes cultural leaders Rob Hastie (Artistic Director Sheffield Theatres), Lynette Linton (Artistic Director Bush Theatre), Gbolahan Obisesan (Artistic Director Brixton House), Laurie Sansom (Artistic Director Northern Broadsides), Bryony Shanahan (Artistic Director Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester), Michelle Terry (Artistic Director Globe Theatre) and Matthew Warchus (Artistic Director Old Vic Theatre.)