National Youth Theatre have announced plans for their REP Company’s first National tour this summer, which will feature two new productions Animal Farm and Othello, co-produced by Royal & Derngate as part of their Made in Northampton season, performed in London and around the UK.
Following the Royal & Derngate, Northampton announcement that the productions will premiere at Royal & Derngate from 17 to 29 May, further performances have been added at the NYT’s new Workshop Theatre from 2 to 12 June, during the redeveloped building’s soft opening period. The new theatre is part of a major redevelopment of the building to create an accessible National Production House for young people, which will officially open to full capacity audiences in the autumn.
The summer season will also tour to two iconic venues. Following last autumn’s success of The Last Harvest, the NYT REP will return to the agricultural setting of Soulton Hall in Shropshire with Animal Farm from 16 to 19 June. Sustainable farmer Tim Ashton built The Sanctuary Theatre, an outdoor performance space, as an urgent response to the struggles faced by the performing arts industry as a result of COVID-19 and is campaigning for other farmers to do the same as part of a nationwide movement. English Heritage’s medieval fortress Bolsover Castle will host performances of Othello from 23 to 26 June. This builds on NYT’s wider partnership with English Heritage, which includes 2019 UK Heritage Award-winner Our House and a new play at Portchester Castle this summer exploring the site’s heritage including untold stories of 18th century Caribbean uprisings and Black Prisoners of War.
The REP Season will conclude with Ordinary Miracle, a new play written and directed by the 2020 NYT REP Bryan Forbes Director Bursary winner Masha Kevinovna, and devised with the NYT REP. Ordinary Miracle will play between 2-4 July at the NYT Workshop Theatre and is a devised multidisciplinary play with songs exploring the connection between dementia, music and fairy tales.
Tickets go on sale at the Workshop Theatre and Soulton Hall today and tickets at Bolsover Castle and for Ordinary Miracle will go on sale in May, all at www.nyt.org.uk. Digital versions of the production will also be released later in the year.
All performances will adhere to Government regulations, with social distancing measures in place to make audiences safe and secure and restricted audience numbers where they are required by Government restrictions. Relaxed and BSL interpreted performances will take place at Royal & Derngate Northampton and the NYT’s Workshop Theatre as part of the charity’s inclusive practice programme.
Paul Roseby OBE, CEO and Artistic Director of NYT said: “To be opening two world premieres with some of the UK’s best creatives both on and off stage on the very same day as theatres can finally open their doors is a thrilling moment for us all. In a post-lockdown world, our national recovery must be led by culture and young people and thanks to Arts Council England and the Culture Recovery Fund we are thrilled to be playing our part. During these challenging dark months, my heartfelt admiration goes to all the freelance creatives whose bold and brilliant approach in reinventing these classic tales has made them so poignant for our time. These shows will be made even more urgent by the new audiences we are reaching in towns, rural communities and in our home borough in Islington as we celebrate the opening of our new and fully accessible Workshop Theatre”.