Here at Leyton, our links to the Expressive Arts industry having given our students some incredible opportunities – from free tickets to shows at some of the best of the west end theatres to free auditions to some of the most prestigious Drama schools. As well as working and performing at theatres most performers could only dream of, such as the Soho Theatre and The Olivier Theatre at the National.
One of the drama schools we have a great relationship with is Arts Educational London. Art Ed is based in Chiswick, West London and is a private Drama School, boasting an alumni of some of the best actors of stage and screen, including a large number of our ex-students. Arts Ed actively invite our students to attend performances of their third-years to see what the next level of education in theatre and acting there is for them, as well as offering talks with their head of courses and giving the college free auditions, to give our students a chance to succeed. It’s also not just our ex-students who end up at Arts Educational London, with quite a few of our ex-teachers currently working there, including Justin Pierre – once a drama teacher at Leyton and now currently the head of acting there.
THE SOHO THEATRE
A theatre that we consider to be our partner theatre is The Soho Theatre on Dean Street. First working with them in 2015 for our first ever entry into the National Theatre Connections, ‘The Accordion Shop’, where they were named our partner theatre for the project. After successfully making it all the way that year and reaching the top prize of performing at the National Theatre that year, we have associated ourselves with the Soho ever since, with multiple entries into the NT Connections with the Soho continuing to partner with us, as well as multiple workshops being held by them at our facilities and lots of our own projects being performed at their spaces. With the Soho expanding into Walthamstow this Summer, we can only imagine the exciting ideas and events we have lined up with them in the future.
NATIONAL THEATRE CONNECTIONS
The National Theatre Connections is a country-wide competition that allows schools, colleges and theatre companies to work on and perform some of the most exciting new plays written for young people. We have been entering since 2015 and have been doing so ever since. The NT Connections has been used as an enrichment opportunity for our students, meaning any student can get involved with Expressive Arts, whether they are full time on the UAL, part time on the BTEC or just looking to have some fun and explore it outside their other subjects.
The way the NT Connections works – you choose a play from a shortlist from the National Theatre, you’ll meet the writer to do a full weekend of workshops with other schools and companies doing the same show to share ideas and thoughts about the play! Then you will work on it with your students and perform it at the college – where a director will come and watch and give you feedback – two directors who have worked with us through this are Cush Jumbo (well established actor in The Good Fight, City of Tiny Lights, Casualty, The Inbetweeners and many more!) and Lynette Linton (currently working at the Bush Theatre as the Associate Director, as well as being a playwright and an Olivier-award nominated director)! From here, you take the play to your partner theatre, which for us has always been the amazing Soho Theatre – where the cast will make their professional debut!
The National Theatre Connections has introduced us to some amazing playwrights, directors, theatres, and performers, who have always spoke highly of our students work and passion and we could not be more thrilled to have a fantastic working relationship with the incredible people running it!