Theatre group really are the Best

Scenes from NT production

Scenes from NT production - Credit: Archant

A local theatre arts company has beaten off competition from nearly 300 groups across the UK to perform at the National Theatre in july.

Best Theatre Arts youth group, TheBYTE, will be staging The Boy Preference following the success of assessed performances at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans and at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton.

The play was written by up-and-coming playwright Elinor Cook for the long-running National Theatre Connections programme which annually invites 10 top playwrights and authors to compose new pieces for young people.

It looks at a future society where the preference for boy children has got out of hand but where the ‘girls-who-might-have-been’ return to exact a terrible revenge.

The production was co-directed by 16-year-old Emily Webster of Beaumont School. Best’s founder and the play’s director David Bevan said: “When I asked Emily whether she’d like to work with me on putting this show together I think she thought I was joking. But it was one of our key decisions and her work on the chorus elements of the piece was simply outstanding and mentioned in glowing terms in our assessment.”

He went on: “I couldn’t be more proud of our amazing, talented bunch of young people. The cast have worked so hard to create this eerie piece and it’s been a real team effort throughout. They deserve this opportunity of a lifetime to perform on the UK’s premier stage.”

A pre-transfer showing of The Boy Preference will be held in St Albans in late June. David added: “There are still things to work on and it would be nice to give St Albans the chance to see the show again before it transfers. In the meantime there’s loads to do, but I’m loving every second of it. Even old pros like me can still get excited about things like this.”

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Best Theatre Arts is a part-time performing arts school for people of all ages, based in St Albans. For more information contact David on 01727 759634/07887 536225 or go to