Introducing our latest Young Company group!

1 Jun 2023

Meet Xahnaa!

A huge part of Bristol Old Vic’s Engagement Department is the Bristol Old Vic Young Company. The mighty Engagement team run 29 sessions, six days a week for over 300 young people aged 3-25 in Bristol Old Vic and across the city.

Two months ago we launched a Global Majority Young Company, responding to the conversations we'd had with the young people we work with every week.

The group is led by Theatre Facilitator and Director Xahnaa Adlam, who  graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on the BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education course. 

She is also co-founder and the Creative and Pastoral Care Director for Young SixSix.

We asked her why this new group is so important.

Xahnaa previously co-founded Young SixSix company.

"I believe that one of the best things a person can be in their life is honest; honest about their thoughts, their feelings, their wants and their needs. I always try to translate this way of living into how I run a rehearsal room. If it's going to be a really creative experience, everyone has to be able to bring their full selves into the room.

Now imagine being in a space where no one looks like you. In fact you’re one of one in that space. And everyone has a different culture, possibly a different understanding of things to you, and you don’t share many lived experiences with the people in that room.

Yet in this space, you are encouraged and expected to be your true self and to give yourself over to the room intellectually, physically and emotionally.  It can be a very vulnerable feeling. 

This is a feeling a lot of people who work in the theatre world haven’t experienced, yet it is a lived reality for so many Actors, Facilitators, Designers, Producers, Directors and Writers who belong to the Global Majority.

The Global Majority group was established at Bristol Old Vic as we recognised a need to create environments that serves and provides well rounded experiences to all of our creative young people in the city. Too many times they have found themselves in space where they are the minority, one of one - shrinking and squeezing parts of their personalities and understandings to appear the same.

The Global Majority group is a space where they don’t feel they need to do this, the young people in the room do not feel they need to micro-manage their personalities, they can be honest and forth coming with their opinions, and they are in a space where their lived experiences will be met with familiarity. All of this allows them to explore their creativity in a more empowering and authentic way."

Xahnaa Adlam outside Bristol Old Vic