by | May 21, 2024 | Ackworth School, Drama, Senior School, Sixth Form

Six students from Ackworth School have beaten the odds to be offered places in the 2024 intake of the National Youth Theatre.

Congratulations to Adam (L6), Erin (Y11), Eve (Y11), Harvey (Y11), Feli (Y10) and Nina (Y10), who have all been offered places on National Youth Theatre (NYT) courses. All six students have developed their performance skills in academic Drama lessons, LAMDA/Trinity classes and numerous extracurricular performances at Ackworth School.

The NYT holds annual acting auditions and technical theatre interviews around the United Kingdom, receiving an average of over 6,500 applicants. Currently, around 500 places are offered on summer acting and technical courses, which offer participants NYT membership upon completion. Members are then eligible to audition for the company’s productions, which are staged in London’s West End, around the country, and internationally.

There is a long list of performers who started at NYT and are now performing on the global stage – Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Craig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matt Smith, Sheridan Smith, just to name a few. NYT alumni include some of the world’s most celebrated performers and award-winning backstage talent working at leading events around the globe and as cultural leaders at leading venues.

14 students from Ackworth auditioned for a place back in March 2024, with students participating in a three hour workshop with a professional actor, before engaging in a one-to-one audition where they had to perform a monologue of their choice. The six students who successfully applied have all been invited to a two-week acting course over the summer, after which they become official members of the company. Thereafter, they have a rich range of opportunities at their fingertips – from play auditions to skill workshops, from masterclasses to theatre, film and TV castings – from their respective points of entry up to the age of 25.

Some of the successful applicants shared their feelings on the experience:

Harvey said, ‘It is a honour to get in to NYT with how difficult the competition is. I am excited to start soon and hope to progress using the course.’

Feli said, ‘When I found out I got into NYT honestly at first I didn’t believe it! I had to double check that it wasn’t a mistake because, from what I’ve been told about it and from what I have researched, to get into NYT is a once in a lifetime opportunity because it opens so many doors in terms of acting. Thousands of people audition and some of them more then once, so to get in first try is just incredible. This is an opportunity not many get and I am forever grateful.’

Nina said, ‘On the day of the National Youth Theatre workshop and auditions I felt excited but nervous as I didn’t know what to expect. As the day went on, I began to enjoy myself and to see that the NYT teacher was fun and friendly. When it was time for the audition, I felt much more confident and I was amazed when I was accepted as part of the NYT. I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity!

Adam said, ‘Being rewarded the opportunity to be an NYT member means an awful lot to me. I started my journey in drama at Ackworth and have loved every moment of it since. Perhaps naturally, I never thought too much of acting as a “serious” avenue for me to pursue beyond my days at Ackworth given the volatile and harsh nature of its industry. However, earning a place in the NYT feels like I’ve got a foot in the door. I can visualise keeping drama in my life beyond school and I now have a real and professional opportunity to do so. It’s honestly so exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck into all that the NYT has to offer and to take all that I’ve learnt at Ackworth to develop it further.’

Head of Drama, Ali Boucher, said, ‘It is a fantastic result for these students, whose hard work, commitment and passion have been justly rewarded. For one student to beat such odds is a success worthy of huge celebration, as we did last year when OId Scholar Grace became the first Ackworth student to gain membership of the NYT in recent years. But for Ackworth to have six successful applicants this year, for us to build on that success in this way, is just fantastic. I am excited for the future, not just for them but for all of our Drama students at Ackworth. We have a wealth of performance talent across all years – not just those unlucky enough to narrowly miss out, who deserve to try again next year, but also those too young to audition last March. We will absolutely apply to audition again next year, and we will be working with all of our students to enable them to emulate these feats in the years to come, to showcase and deepen their talents, and to show how all areas of Ackworth’s Performance Faculty deliver above and beyond expectations for the young people we teach.

If you would like to find out more about how Ackworth School can support your child to unlock their full potential, why not book a bespoke visit or contact our admissions team on or 01977 233621.