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NYT stages rep season at Ambassadors, Bonneville made patron

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The National Youth Theatre (NYT) will stage a West End rep season at the Ambassadors Theatre later this year, featuring plays by James Graham, Michael Lesslie and Lolita Chakrabarti.

The season, which runs from 23 September to 29 November 2013, will be performed by a new rep company of 15 young actors. NYT artistic director Paul Roseby told Whatsonstage.com that one of the aims of the season was to "engage young people in challenging subject matter".

Three plays are featured: Michael Lesslie's Prince of Denmark, Lolita Chakrabarti's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and a revival of James Graham's Tory Boyz.

Press day is the 2 October 2013, with performances "neatly placed alongside" the Ambassadors' long-time resident Stomp, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday eveings, as well as 2.30pm shows ahead of evening performances of Stomp.

Roseby also told Whatsonstage.com: "Our four main plays are both challenging and absolutely have a direct appeal to many types of audiences."

The NYT will also stage the premiere of Pope Joan by Louise Brealey, which runs at St James' Church in Piccadilly from 31 August to 15 September.

Brealey said: "When the NYT asked me to write a play about Pope Joan, my first instinct was to run like the clappers. But the moment I began to read about the Joan legend, I fell in love with the idea of such a woman existing in a world where a woman of any learning was considered a dangerous freak."

Paul Roseby also announced that former member Hugh Bonneville has been named as a Patron of the company.

Bonneville, star of Downton Abbey and Twenty Twelve, said: "I am delighted to become a patron of the National Youth Theatre. I'd not be doing what I do now were it not for this fantastic organisation: it opened my eyes to what was to become my career... I look forward to waving the National Youth Theatre flag with pride."

The full NYT rep company is: Laurence Baker, Louisa Beadel, Miguel Brooking, Sope Dirisu, Sophie Ellerby, Aruhan Galieva, Aaron Gordon, Zainab Hasan, Simon Lennon, Niall McNamee, Tom Prior, Abigail Rose, Anna Spearpoint, Tom Thompson and Daisy Whalley.


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