A theatre group in Luton providing opportunities for young people has celebrated its 5th birthday.
Next Generation Theatre Group was founded in 2012 by David and Laura Lloyd to give Luton’s youngsters a chance to create their own theatre productions and shine on stage.
And to celebrate, the group is restaging two of its biggest productions – The Butterfly Catcher and In Doing Nothing I Found Me – later this month.
33-year-old director David Lloyd told Luton News that the group had thrived in spite of little funding.
He said: “This has not deterred our ambition and progress. In this time, we have worked with over 1,000 young people each year in over 15 schools and colleges.”
The Butterfly Catcher notably won the Brighton Fringe Award for Outstanding Theatre back in 2015.
Next Generation Youth Theatre works collaboratively with its youngsters, using improvisation in workshops to develop scripts and make them truly representative of young people.
David said: “Laura and I were both teachers and we were a bit disillusioned with how we felt arts was being offered in schools, in the way young people were only being allowed to explore arts to an exam specification.
“We were working for one of the biggest kids theatre schools in the UK and we also didn’t like the idea of charging a lot of money and giving that false promise of success.
“We don’t think its fair insofar as its a very challenging industry to succeed in.”
David said many ex-players from NGYT had grown vastly in confidence through performing, with many pursuing university degrees and other careers with improved communication skills.
The Butterfly Catcher plays at the Hat Factory on Saturday, April 22 and In Doing Nothing I Found Me on Saturday, April 29, with both matinee and evening performances.
Call 01582 878100 for tickets.