'The jewel in the crown': the Young Peoples' Theatre Scheme at the Royal Court, 1966-1976

Holden, Nicholas (2015) 'The jewel in the crown': the Young Peoples' Theatre Scheme at the Royal Court, 1966-1976. In: Theatre and Performance Research Association, Annual Conference, 8-10 September 2015, University of Worcester.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


The Royal Court Theatre has, throughout its history, demonstrated an ongoing allegiance to the writer. The support of the playwright and the formation of a writer/theatre relationship at the Court has been addressed in a variety of ways: from the First Writers’ group (1958), to the inaugural Young Playwrights Competition (1973) that evolved into the Young Writers’ Festival (1975) and, more recently, the Young Writers’ Programme. Renamed as the Young Writers’ Programme in 1998, the Royal Court’s Young Peoples’ Theatre Scheme (YPTS) is under-represented in the scholarship that concerns the theatre’s history. From a rudimentary outreach scheme initiated by the theatre emerged the YPTS, who, through the garages of Sloane Square and into the streets of Notting Hill, crafted a much-needed link between the Royal Court and the next generation of writers and theatre enthusiasts. The groups and festivals that have become a significant part of the Court’s work have grown to overshadow their predecessor, leaving the YPTS as a misremembered strand of the theatre’s work, whose achievements are now confined to archives and memory.

This study is the first of its kind to comprehensively evaluate and document the work of the YPTS at the Royal Court. This paper will offer an opportunity to explore some initial findings related to my research in this vital but largely overlooked chapter in the Court’s history, where the intricacies of conducting interviews with key personnel alongside a more traditional archival exploration of their previous engagement with the field are brought into sharp focus.

Keywords:Royal Court Theatre, British Theatre History, Archival Studies
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:17574
Deposited On:20 Jun 2015 19:30

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