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Newtown Youth Theatre

This project laid the foundations for a Youth Theatre Group at Newtown Youth Centre, in a deprived area of Southampton.

1st January 2010 - 31st July 2010

 Working in partnership with Leicester-based Hathi Productions and Newtown Youth Theatre, Art Asia (Southampton’s leading Asian performing arts agency) developed an exciting project which combined go-and-see elements with an intense theatre residency and performance. The residency engaged 5 girls and 6 boys to perform High Street Musical, a gritty but very funny play which explored issues such as knife crime and teenage drinking as well as a touching portrayal of a son’s relationship with his father who had dementia. 

  • • Nine members of the cast were later invited to perform two of the dances from the show at Dhamaal (the Southampton Universities’ Asian Cultural show) at the Nuffield Theatre • The success of the initial production led to a second project, working with emerging venue Spinney Hollow Woodland Theatre, on a contemporary version of A Midsummer Nights Dream

    • The young people gained a Certificate of Progression in Performing Arts as a Performer, awarded by the National Open College Network. This is 21 credits at level 3 and roughly equal to an AS level

    • The mixed project was groundbreaking for Newtown Youth Centre as they normally run projects which are segregated into single sex groups

  • • Using local theatre practitioners alongside Hathi Productions is essential for project sustainability and also offers valuable CPD for local artists

    • Adapting texts and making them relevant to the young people’s every day lives and environment is key to engaging and enthusing them

    • An intense residency is an excellent model to ensure focus and a good quality end result