Blackpool Grand Theatre relaunches Young Company

Blackpool Grand Theatre is relaunching the Grand Young Company with a vision to provide excellence in the training and artistic development of young people with an interest in working towards future creative careers in theatre-making, performance and beyond.

The Blackpool Grand Theatre has firm roots with an in-house Young Company dating back to 1996. The company of the time staged numerous high-quality productions including Kes, the stage adaptation of Barry Hine’s classic novel A Kestrel for a Knave, and The Demon Headmaster, which was a success on children’s television. In addition, new work was commissioned including an adaptation of O-U-T Spells Out by David Holman, still used in schools.

In 2015 the company became part of the National Theatre Connections Programme and performed at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre, Manchester Lowry and York Theatre Royal, additionally working with The Royal Shakespeare Company, ZooNation and James Wilton Dance to learn and develop new skills. During the Covid pandemic the company created a digital new work, Hope in Isolation, that explored mental health and well-being during the exam process and school life.

The new class of 2023-2024 will have the opportunity to take part in a fun and exciting programme of activity consisting of creative and practical sessions, focused on building skills in professional performance and contemporary, collaborative theatre-making practice. It will be delivered by leading artists and theatre companies from across the UK and led by a former Young Company member, Mykey Young, the theatre’s recently appointed creative programmes producer.

“As a former member of the National Youth Theatre and National Youth Music Theatre myself, I know just how important it is for young people to be able access high-quality opportunities.”

“As a former member of the National Youth Theatre and National Youth Music Theatre myself, I know just how important it is for young people to be able access high-quality opportunities to explore and develop their performance and theatre making craft,” said Adam Knight, chief executive of Blackpool Grand Theatre. “To be inspired by experienced professionals, and to have pathways for future career opportunities whilst having fun, making new friends, and furthering their sense of belonging as an important and integral part of their local professional theatre.”

New company members will benefit from the Blackpool Grand’s ability to align the activity in the theatre’s main stage and studio spaces. The new programme allows the opportunity to watch visiting productions during their residency, in addition to taking part in workshops with cast members and creative teams, further enriching the development journey.

Members will have the opportunity to perform annually on the Blackpool Grand main stage and Studio theatres, in addition to providing access to ambitious nationwide initiatives that reach far beyond their hometown. The group will also perform a new play as part of the nationwide National Theatre Connections Festival.

Open audition workshops will take place in the Blackpool Grand Theatre, Studio on, Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September, 6pm-8:30pm, and Saturday 30 September 10am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-4:00pm. To book a place or for more information visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/gyc.

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