The National Youth Theatre’s bid to gain a place in the Guinness Book of Records with a “Playathon” (See News, 29 Mar 2006) – during which every play ever performed in the company’s 50 year history will be read consecutively, non-stop, day and night for approximately 240 hours – gets underway on Friday (26 May). The enormous challenge, which is expected to finish on Sunday 4 June, comprises 150 plays, 2,592,000 words - and with no dramatic pauses allowed! The event will take place at the NYT Headquarters in Holloway Road, north London, and readers - who will undertake a stint of four hours each - will ask friends, family and supporters for sponsorship, which the company hopes will help raise £50,000 for future productions and the ongoing running costs of the organisation. Launching the event at 2.00pm on Friday will be original founding members (including Simon Ward and Ken Farrington), reading the company’s first-ever production, Henry V, which was directed by founder Michael Croft in 1956. Many alumni and supporters will be taking part over the ten days to do their bit in the mega-Playathon. Can they do it?! You can find out more by visiting