Meet the husband and wife team dedicated to giving young people a chance to shine in the performing arts.
David Lloyd and Laura Hobson formed Next Generation Youth Theatre in 2012.
Their students – ranging in age from four to 24 – are already winning competitions and rave reviews.
The couple, from Barton, have also managed to attract a posse of high profile patrons, including actors Colin Salmon, Dev Sagoo and Neil Jackson as well as writer Sally Abbott.
Laura, 31, said: “Our main aim is to collaborate with young people to create original works of theatre and dance and to share them with our local community as well as a national audience.
“It’s our mission to make Luton and Dunstable places that are known for their creativity and artistic excellence. And we’re as ambitious and committed to being at the forefront of the arts as the youngsters we serve.” Their talented pupils got off to a rip-roaring start with RIP Ned, tackling the negative portrayal of youth in the media. It was presented at Welwyn Youth Festival only eight months after the company was formed and immediately won an award.
NGYT are now working on a double bill for the end of the month – The Butterfly Catcher and Love for Dummies – a Young Heart’s Guide to Love.
The Butterfly Catcher is a play with music dealing with the pressures on young people to do well in exams while Love for Dummies is a dance-based self-help guide to love, through a teenager’s eyes.
Laura said: “Everything in both pieces came from our students, it’s all their thoughts and feelings bravely laid out for the audience.”
NGYT have a busy time ahead. They’re taking part in Luton Mela, Relay for Life, Luton Fun Palaces and the Dunstable Salvation Army Christmas concert at the Grove, as well as creating an original production for The Hat Factory’s October Festival.
They’re also trying to raise £1,000 to help run 12 weeks of two-hour workshops to develop technique.
> For more details contact Laura on 01582 882071 or visit www.ngyt.co.uk