A student from Knaresborough is among three pupils from The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) who have earned places in the prestigious National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT).
Following successful auditions year 10 pupil Iona Boyd, from Knaresborough, together with year 11 students Caroline Taylor, from Bramhope, and Martha Mukungurutse, from Leeds, will attend a two week intensive acting course in London during the summer holidays. Following the course they will be fully fledged NYT members until the age of 25, which entitles them to audition for the NYT’s exciting shows around the country each year.
The competition was fierce – in a record year for NYT applications over 4,800 youngsters auditioned for 560 coveted places on the summer course. Applicants attended an all-day audition, taking part in group acting workshops in the morning and performing a monologue in the afternoon.
Iona said: The workshop at the auditions was a taster of the kind of thing we’ll be doing on the summer course – working in groups and doing devised work, and learning about different techniques.
Caroline said: I was very nervous on the day as I thought it would be a highly competitive atmosphere, but it was very friendly – the panel were all past members who knew what it was like for us, and we’ll be working with them again on the summer course.
All the girls are busy with extracurricular drama – Martha is a member of The Carriageworks Young Theatre Makers, while Caroline has been a regular on stage in school productions and has recently achieved Grade 8 in Speech and Drama. Iona takes her Grade 8 in Speech and Drama this summer.
Emma Stokes, head of co-curricular drama at GSAL, said: The NYT is singularly the most prestigious theatre company a young person can be accepted into within the UK. For our students to be accepted against such strong competition only serves to highlight what exceptional talented, dedicated and ambitious performers they are.
The trio will be following in the footsteps of some illustrious NYT alumni – Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, Catherine Tate, Matt Smith and many more honed their craft with the organisation.
The NYT was the world’s first youth theatre and has nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young performers and theatre technicians from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Main photograph: l-r Iona Boyd, Martha Mukungurutse and Caroline Taylor