Young Company through the years

3 Apr 2019

Beginning in its current form in 1994, Bristol Old Vic Young Company (formally called the Youth Theatre) was founded by Bristol-based Director Sally Cookson (A Monster Calls, Jane Eyre) and Heather Williams (actor and former Head of Education at Bristol Old Vic from 1994-2004).

Bristol Old Vic Young Company is recognised as an innovative group of theatre-makers, having won multiple awards for their devised work. They recently performed for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, during their Royal Visit to the theatre, and have been lauded by former National Theatre director Nick Hytner as “a thrilling group of actors.”

Engagement Director Lucy Hunt said: “In 2007, when the theatre was on the point of closure and professional productions were not taking place, the Young Company continued, breathing life into the theatre and keeping the heartbeat of the place alive. The organisation wouldn’t be here without them and the future of theatre wouldn’t be possible without the constant influx of talented young people gaining confidence and discovering their voices for the first time in this way.”

Young Company Director Lisa Gregan continued: “Our job at Bristol Old Vic is not just to create actors and directors of the future but, more importantly, to provide opportunities for young people from every part of the city to develop their own imaginative powers, their self-confidence and their voice for whatever the future holds.”

The evidence is unequivocal that children who have the opportunity to create, gain confidence and social skills which improve every aspect of their lives, from academic attainment and employment to mental health and relationships.