Deep Cuts (2019)
By Catherine Palmer
Performed at Broadway Theatre
2019 brought more creativity to Y&T Rep Company under the form of a new exciting project, Noughts & Crosses. Y&T Rep Company collaborated with award-winning touring company Pilot Theatre on their production of Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz. Y&T Rep Company’s production was called Deep Cuts.
Young people from Y&T Rep Company watched Noughts & Crosses at Stratford East, had access to the script, education pack and opportunities to work with staff at Pilot Theatre. Y&T Rep Company devised and script their own response piece of theatre using the themes and story of Noughts & Crosses.
Finding Home Finding Hope (2018)
By Catherine Palmer and Jeremy Muguwe
Performed at Rich Mix, Limehouse Townhall and Canary Wharf Roof Garden
Outreach project with Stitches in Time
Finding Home, Finding Hope explored gentrification and council estate demolition in east London. This show considered what home, hope and belonging means and the way gentrification is erasing our communities and increasing social and economic inequality.
‘That in the 6th richest country in the world, working class, poor, migrant and minority bodies were forced to burn in the atrocity of Grenfell Tower before those in power would see and recognise them. When is Britain going to stand up and talk about the intersection of race, of poverty and of housing?’
‘For my community on the Brownwood estate, my beautiful, diverse community, and I ask you to see me, I am not invisible, I am not a statistic, I am not just an additional home, I do not need rebuilding, I do not need a desirable new neighbourhood’
‘You can rip down the structures, you can take away the buildings, but you’ll never take away our love and our empathy, and most importantly, our ability to hope for something better. To find home, the first thing you need to find is hope’
By Chris Thompson
Performed at Soho Theatre and Broadway Theatre
Part of National Theatre Connections
Y&T Rep Company performed Dungeness by Chris Thompson. In a remote part of the UK, where nothing ever happens, a group of teenagers share a safe house for LGBT+ young people. The group must decide how they want to commemorate an attack that happened to people like them in a country far away. How do you take to the streets and protest if you’re not ready to tell the world who you are? If you’re invisible, does your voice still count? A play about love, commemoration and protest.
‘For all those living in fear, far from us, or on our doorstep, we show you our solidarity; for all those fighting for the right to love, to be themselves in all corners of the world, for all those who fought before us. For everyone who has fought in the name of love.’
National Theatre Connections is a youth theatre festival that takes place in schools and youth theatres across the UK culminating in young people performing in a professional theatre.
OUR LDN (2017)
By Catherine Palmer & Tyler J. Mitchell
Performed at Rich Mix
This year Y&T appointed a new Director for Y&T Rep Company, Catherine Palmer. Alongside young associate Jeremy Muguwe and young dramaturg Hannah Akhalu.
Their first production under the guidance of Catherine Palmer was OUR LDN. This play is a devised show that maps the changing landscape of London and how this affects young people. Considers the topics of sexuality, feminism, masculinity, terrorism and the rise of acid attacks. Through a fractured and underfunded education system, where MISS is always on the edge or barely makes it to the lesson, a group of friends negotiate their identities through a range of conflicting experiences. The arrival of a new girl upsets the dynamic of the group revealing light and darkness in all the characters. This show captures the energy, bravery, strength and diversity of young people in London providing a platform for their voices that are absent in the city.
‘This is where WE belong. This city belongs to us. This is our open and diverse city. It is colourful, it is beautiful, it is forever. We will keep standing here together as Londoners and as young people’
‘I love the spirit of the people in this city, they are brave and honest. They don’t hide or shy away from what is difficult, they stand against what they think is wrong and stand up for what they believe in’
Dying Out Loud (2014)
By David Fielding
Performed at Spotlight
Y&T Rep Company partnered with Spotlight, a brand-new youth centre in Poplar to produce a brand new play. A cast of 7 young actors aged 14-21 along with 2 adult actors directed by Suzann McLean delivered 3 performances of Dying Out Loud written by David Fielding. Set in a comprehensive secondary school in East London the play explored the aftermath of a school shooting and its effects on the remaining students. Key to the process of the project was the collaboration with the young people themselves, allowing them to decide what to speak about, what to change, why and what it would mean for the piece they staged. They covered topics around the subject matter of violent behaviour amongst young people and the effects it has on those around. Attention was given to the mental and psychological effects violence has upon young people and how to deal with the loss of someone loved. This project has inspired three of its participants to set up a young producing company called KMD.
Jayden’s War (2013)
By David Fielding
Performed at Oxford House
Written by David Fielding and directed by Suzann McLean. This ambitious eight-month youth heritage project explored the history of gangs and riots. It focused on archives research and oral histories and culminated in a powerful theatrical experience. The young people attended our eight months project being involved in the different activities, such as sessions in archive research (held at London Metropolitan Archives); oral history (with Who Am I) and script witting sessions; using the material found during the archive research to devise a script; rehearsing the play; sharing their work with the wider community. The project culminated with the performance of Jayden’s War at Oxford House Theatre and we produced a learning booklet that documented the journey.
Cinderella Innit! (2012)
By David Fielding & Suzann McLean
Performed at Oxford House
In December 2012 Y&T Rep Company put on stage its second production Cinderella Innit! that added a marvellous modern twist to this classic fairy tale. This play was written by David Fielding and Suzann McLean and directed by Suzann McLean at Oxford House Theatre. In this show Cinderella lives with her wicked stepmother Donna and her ugly nasty stepsisters above their kebab shop in Bethnal Green. This project covered all aspects of creating and producing theatre.
The young people gained experience in acting, set building and prop making, lighting design and operation, box office and front of house, stage management.
The Killing Class (2012)
by David Fielding
Performed at Oxford House
Y&T Rep Company first production was The Killing Class written by David Fielding and directed by Suzann McLean at Oxford House Theatre. Set in a young offender’s prison, The Killing Class is an emotional and highly charged play with a storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Teenagers Steven and Tia meet when the pair is put together as part of a lesson in learning to interact again with other people. Both are going to be put into Adult Prison and then they fall in love with deadly and surprising consequences.
This project ran alongside a Technical theatre and event Management course where young people had the opportunity to learn all aspects of set design, props making, stage management, lighting, sound, box office, ushering.
The production received critical acclaim being awarded 5 stars online.
In October 2012 The Killing Class was presented to the Department for Education and Department of Health as part of an initiative that aimed at raising young people’s awareness of the consequences of negative behaviour and prevent bullying, violence and crime amongst them.