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‘Starter for Ten’ – Young Company City

Since January we’ve been lucky enough to work with a company of 10 brilliant and creative young people to devise a short performance piece, which the group performed on the legendary stage at Bristol Old Vic at the end of April. 

Beginning in the dark depths of January, each Wednesday evening the group developed their devising, movement, ensemble and improvisation skills, through a series of dynamic activities and games.

From here, we then began devising the specifics of the performance the young company eventually performed. Inspired by the recent musical production of David Nichols ‘Starter for Ten’, a coming of age story about belonging and going to university for the first time that was performed at the start of the year at the Bristol Old Vic, the group were fascinated by developing ideas around what an alternative, altogether more gruesome university might look like, which they eventually titled ‘Normal School’.

They showed great experimentation and playfulness in devising work that explored the weirdness and strangeness that lay beneath their ‘Normal School’, through non-human characters, unexpected encounters in hidden hallways, bizarre university rituals and terrifying poetry teachers, to name a few of the ideas they developed. 

It’s been impressive to see how quickly they were able to develop their improvisation and devising skills, projection and voice development and ability to work as an ensemble.

We very much hope for this to be the first of many youth theatre projects at St Anne’s House, and have some really exciting new projects coming up over the next few months, including film-making, sculpture, movement and nature-connection and creativity projects. Sign up to our newsletter (in the footer below) to find out more!