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National Youth Theatre success 2020
Many congratulations to Upper Sixth Canfordian Callum Bruce who has been awarded a place with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. Established in 1956 as the world’s first youth theatre, it has a fine reputation as a world-leading youth arts organisation. Over the years it has nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young people, with world renowned alumni including Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Smith, Ben Kingsley and many more. It is as ambitious as the young people it serves, platforming young talent on West End stages, in stadiums world-wide and at iconic sites both home and abroad.
Callum has been passionate about live theatre for many years, as an enthusiastic member of The Big Little Theatre School and since joining Canford in the Sixth Form, enjoying numerous exciting roles within musical productions both at school and in local theatres. He has also developed a keen interest in the fascinating world of technical theatre and this curiosity was one of the driving forces for his decision to join Canford Sixth Form, commenting: “Learning from theatre technical director Kevin Wilkins and his amazing work within The Layard Theatre has really inspired me to follow my dreams and explore this incredible field even further. I learnt very quickly that the creative industry is extremely welcoming to young people who show a genuine interest and enthusiasm for its craft; thus, my eagerness has rewarded me with some incredible work experiences over the past few years. Some examples include large scale Summer projects with The Twins FX (an award winning theatrical special effects company) which have been showcased in pantomimes at The London Palladium, LX and automation experience with the UK/Ireland tours of Les Miserables and Matilda and backstage shadowing with the automation team for Tina the Musical at London’s Aldwych Theatre.”
Selection for the National Youth Theatre is highly competitive, taking place in over 90 venues around the UK throughout January, February and March 2020. Callum was tasked with preparing two projects directly related to theatre design and the presentation of his ideas formed the backbone of his interview and selection. Director of Canford Drama, Laura Blake, describes winning a place with the National Youth Theatre as “the equivalent of being selected for a national sports’ team in the world of theatre.”
Callum was “absolutely thrilled” to discover he had been offered a place, with NYT membership lasting until he is 26 years old. “The NYT provides an incredible platform from which to build my career in theatre. The current situation with COVID-19 means that all learning will take place online in the short term, but on-the-ground courses are already planned for Summer 2021. With NYT membership comes a vast array of opportunities including work with all NYT productions, UK and International tours, work experience, courses and mentoring from leading industry professionals and much much more! In the words of NYT, it is an organisation which ‘discovers, develops and platforms exceptional performers and theatre technicians, and prides itself in being as ambitious as the young people it serves’. I feel extremely honoured to have been selected and I know this will be an exceptional platform from which to kickstart my career in the theatre industry. The show really will go on!”