National Youth Theatre to stage summer tour

Published: 13 April 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Opening in Northampton: Animal Farm

The National Youth Theatre has announced plans for its REP Company’s first national tour which will feature two new shows co-produced by Northampton’s Royal and Derngate.

Tatty Hennessy has adapted George Orwell’s Animal Farm which will open at Royal and Derngate from Monday 17 until Saturday 29 May. It will then go to the NYT Workshop Theatre at the National Youth Theatre, London on 2, 10, 11 and 12 June and Soulton Hall, Shropshire from Wednesday 16 until Saturday 19 June.
William Shakespeare’s Othello will be the second production. In a gender-swapping casting, the title role will be played by Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, one of 12 winners of the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund.

Olivier Award winner Miranda Cromwell directs. Associate director will be Mumba Dodwell and the play will be abridged by Dzifa Benson. Renell Shaw will compose original music for Othello.

The play will open at Royal and Derngate from Monday 24 until Saturday 29 May. It then runs at the Workshop Theatre at the National Youth Theatre from Saturday 5 until Wednesday 9 June before visiting Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire from Wednesday 23 until Saturday 26 June.

The REP Company’s season will conclude with Ordinary Miracle, a new play written and directed by the 2020 NYT REP Bryan Forbes Director Bursary winner Masha Kevinovna. Ordinary Miracle, a “devised multi-disciplinary play with songs exploring the connection between dementia, music and fairy tales”, will run at the NYT Workshop Theatre between Friday 2 and Sunday 4 July.

Paul Roseby OBE, chief executive and artistic director of NYT, said, “to be opening two world premières with some of the UK's best creatives both on and off stage on the same day that 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’re thrilled to be playing our part.”