Gala Photos: Prince Gives Royal Seal at NYT's 50thDate: 13 November 2006
Prince Edward and pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor joined actors and other theatre dignitaries last night (Sunday 12 November 2006) at a gala fundraising dinner as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the National Youth Theatre (See News, 3 Oct 2006).
At the black tie event at Battersea Evolution (formerly Battersea Park Events Arena), Little Britain’s David Walliams and Matt Lucas, both NYT alumni, entertained guests with 30-minute special performance of the stage adaptation of their hit TV sketch show.
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The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain was founded in 1956 by Michael Croft, the company's director until his death in 1986. The company initially played in the East End of London but proved so successful that young people began applying to join it from all over the country. In 1960 the Youth Theatre was given national status and financial support by the Department for Education. Since its foundation, NYT has performed over 270 productions in over 50 cities in eight countries and involved over 120,000 young people (aged between 13 and 21) in the UK.
During this anniversary year, it has been working with 24,000 young people across its range of activities and giving over 200 performances of 64 productions in 82 venues. The gala dinner marks the culmination of the anniversary year. Walliams and Lucas, who met in 1990 while performing with NYT and who subsequently set up the National Youth Theatre Cabaret, said: “There wouldn’t be a Little Britain without National Youth Theatre. We’re delighted to be supporting the 50th anniversary year.”
Our Whatsonstage.com photographer was on hand for arrivals at Battersea Evolution, where other gala guests included Ian McKellen, Timothy Spall, Amanda Burton, Kevin Whateley, Richard Wilson, Arthur Smith, Christopher Biggins, Bryan Forbes, Nanette Newman, Michelle Collins, Paula Wilcox and Stephen Mangan.
- by Terri Paddock