St Albans students earn places with National Youth Theatre

THEATRIX students, Elliot Gibbons, 17, and Sophie Ruane-Lewis, 15, are two of only a few young actors nationwide to be invited to join the National Youth Theatre (NYT) this year.

They were selected from over 4000 applicants and join Amber Townsend, 16, who was selected last year from the St Albans-based theatre company and has already performed in an NYT production.

All three had to satisfy the NYT’s stringent entry requirements. They had to go through two testing auditions involving both group and solo work before waiting for the NYT’s decision. They are now members of the country’s elite theatre company for young actors.

Elliot described the process. “This was my fourth year auditioning for the NYT and the process was exactly the same as previous years.

“The day started with a three-hour workshop in the morning which included drama games and activities to allow us to work together as a team and prepare us for the individual auditions in the afternoon. I had a nerve-wrecking four-hour wait for my audition which included a two minute pre-prepared monologue as well as a short interview.”

He added: “I then had to wait about three months for the result to come through and was obviously absolutely delighted when it did!”

This is the second time Theatrix has been represented at the NYT by three students simultaneously.

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Theatrix principal, Rosemarie Partridge, said: “Amber, Elliot and Sophie represent a generation of mature young Theatrix actors. All three are enormously talented. But they have worked very, very hard for this. I am absolutely delighted for them. Their example will give great encouragement to all my students.”