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Project information

Watford Palace Theatre- Young Company

In 2018, Hertfordshire County Youth Theatre (HCYT) Watford Palace Theatre’s (WPT) flagship Youth Theatre production will face a shortfall in funding. WPT has ambitions to bridge a creative skills shortage and offer opportunities such as writing and directing as part of a Young Company through HCYT.

April 2018 - November 2018

Charity information: Palace Theatre Watford Ltd

Palace Theatre Watford Ltd logo
  • Need


    Schools in England are under increased pressure to make savings including creative subjects. GCSE and A Levels entries into arts subjects have fallen by 46,000 this year. Young people are seeking opportunities from outside the classroom, leading to a decrease in creative courses within Further Education and diversity in the creative industry.


    WPT will stage a production during October 2018 and audition in schools across Hertfordshire, regardless of status and arts provision enabling young people to produce and perform in a professional production.

    As part of a longer term initiative to fulfill a skills and training shortage, WPT will pilot a Young Company as part of HCYT and provide roles for young people to be; writers, devisers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians and marketers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds to take part in HCYT.


    » WPT will target 10 schools from across areas in Hertfordshire including; Watford, Borehamwood and Waltham Cross.

    What success will look like

    We will measure the number of young people auditioning for HCYT, the number of schools hosting auditions and the uptake of HCYT roles.

    Aim 2

    Produce a professional production in Oct 2018 entirely led by young people.


    » The Young People will work with industry professionals who create productions onsite at WPT.

    What success will look like

    We will measure the number of young people who form the Young Company.

    The Young Company will be mentored by our creative team at WPT.

    Aim 3

    Inspire other young people, such as HCYT audiences to take part in creative opportunities at WPT.


    » Tickets are intentionally set at a lower price to overcome financial barriers for families and young audiences.

    What success will look like

    We will measure the number of PYT attending HCYT performances in 18/19, number of young people auditioning in 2019 and the uptake of our Youth Offer including Rumour Membership.

    Aim 4

    Develop a Young Company; a catalyst for the future generation of creative talent.


    » A Young Company, as a pathway, encourages young people to pursue professional opportunities as actors, directors and writers or within FE.

    What success will look like

    We will continue to track HCYT alumni and offer further development opportunities within the Young Company as part of the programming at WPT.

  • Impact


    WPT aims longer term for the Young Company to be embedded in projects and offered more training opportunities and skills development.

    We will measure the impact of the Young Company by evaluating the number of young people participating in 2018 and 2019 and the number of projects they work on.


    A risk that could affect the project includes young people not committing to performance and technical roles. We have dealt with this in the past and have run auditions earlier in the year to allow enough time for replacement roles to be offered out to other young people. Another risk is that young people may not understand our offer and take an alternate creative based work placement. We are continuing to consult with young people and will incorporate their recommendations within our offer.


    Donors will receive regular email updates about the campaign detailing how the funding has benefited the community and young people of Watford and Hertfordshire.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Staffing for workshops This includes staffing of rehearsals leading up to performance
      £8,000 Creative Roles This includes Costume Designer and Musical Director
      £1,000 Administration This includes marketing, planning and evaluation
      £500 Travel for young people Travel for young people in HCYT/ Young Company
      £5,000 Scenic Art Costs Production materials including set and costume
      £3,000 Staffing for Production This includes; Front of House, Box Office and Production Staff
      £2,500 Young Company- Development This includes; Training, Marketing and Arts Award Fees
  • Background


    WPT auditions at schools with varied academic achievement and in areas of social and economic deprivation including Borehamwood Cowley Hill, amongst 10% most deprived areas in England.

    Watford Palace Theatre is the only producing theatre in Hertfordshire and will continue building long-term partnerships so that young people have an equal opportunity to participate in theatre and continue to be aware of projects such as the Young Company.


    Young People are primarily the beneficiaries of HCYT including those from disadvantaged and BAME backgrounds who would not have had the opportunity to engage with theatre and training skills if HCYT and the Young Company were not available.

    Longer term, the wider creative industry and audiences for theatre will benefit from a diverse pool of creative professionals as theatre makers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    WPT is nationally recognised for its artistic quality and diversity, receiving UK Theatre’s Diversity Award in 2015. WPT has professional expertise in; set design, costume, sound and lighting. HCYT is popular with young people and has been a part of the central programming since 2002. Our young people have used HCYT as a stepping stone for developing their craft in the creative industry like Designer Chloe Lamford (Associate Designer, Royal Court Theatre, 1984 Headlong/West End) a

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    James Williams

    James will direct HCYT and has 14 years of working with young people at WPT as; writer, director, and facilitator and has directed HCYT since 2006.

    Hema Teji

    Head of Participation, has oversight of the Participation department and will manage the overall outreach and engagement of HCYT/ Young Company.

    Roisin Walsh

    Participation and Engagement Producer at WPT, has worked in various guises at the Battersea Arts Centre and will manage the engagement with schools.

    Jessica Harwood

    Jess, Production Manager at WPT, trained at LAMDA, has previously worked for the Unicorn Theatre and will manage the production of HCYT.