Theatre for young people?

Convener(s): Nick Brakeman

Participants: Julia, Jamie Zubairi, Victoria @ Filskittheatre, Sarah @ Filskittheatre, Katy @ Filskittheatre, t james martin, jake @ a younger theatre, sarah, dan, lonie,ellis,the what works,martin, tiphaine


Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

What is the difference between theatre for young people and normal theatre?

That’s not necessarily a very useful distinction to make. Good theatre is good theatre.

Younger audiences tend to be more brutal. They are quicker to notice when an actor is not being truthful, and will not be shy about sharing that observation.

What’s particularly exciting about theatre for young people?

You get to make work that will be a first audience experience for a lot of people. They will be more accepting of genres being mixed, and a wider range of theatrical devices being used.

Doing something television can’t.


What’s frustrating about theatre for young people?

Preconceptions within the industry. (Are you doing panto?)

Educational aspects being hammered home.
There is often a lack of ambition to appeal to both adult and young audience members.

A lot of work feels the need to not upset. As if children are unable to deal with darker themes. As if they always need a happy ending.

Programmers and marketing departments’ want to create strict age categories for work for young people.

Strong link with curriculum.


Recommendations include

(twice) Catherine Wheels – White

Oily cart
Imaginate (Development Agency in Scotland)