Dame Helen Mirren gives advice to young actors

Sandra Giorgetti

At An Audience with Helen Mirren, a fundraising event for The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT) held this week, former NYT member and Vice President of NYT Dame Helen Mirren was interviewed on-stage by its Artistic Director, Paul Roseby.

She said of the NYT, “The thing about the National Youth Theatre is that it gives people that have no chance of drama school because of financial restrictions a wonderful, real opportunity of doing proper theatre in real theatres. Without the National Youth Theatre, my trajectory would have been totally different.”

However it is her answer to another question that is more likely to be remembered: when asked if there was anything she wishes she’d known when she was starting, she replied, “Yes, don't be up your own bum! I don’t know how else to put it.”

The National Youth Theatre's West End Season opens in August with the world première of Pope Joan by Louise Brealey at St James’s Church, in London's Piccadilly.

The season continues at London's Ambassadors Theatre with political comedy Tory Boyz by James Graham, Hamlet prequel Prince of Denmark by Michael Lesslie and an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Olivier Award-nominated writer and actor, and former NYT member, Lolita Chakrabarti.

Outside of the West End Season the NYT will perform at the Latitude Festival, The Bristol Old Vic and the Edinburgh Festival.

Pope Joan—for further information and booking visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.

For the Ambassadors Theatre productions, visit www.theambassadorstheatre.co.uk.