The liberating power of theatre: how it can lead to fulfilment and even a stage in Dalston

© not available
The cast of the premiere taken by the young company to Dalston

ALREADY Seraphina Beh has played in EastEnders and been described by a national newspaper as “the [not “a”] promising actress”. Not bad for someone who one day thought she’d try a course for disadvantaged young people.

The course, Playing Up, which the National Youth Theatre (NYT) has been running for 19 to 24 year-olds for eight years, has had an 85% success rate of moving young people into higher education, further training or employment.

Beh, below, told Loving Dalston:NYT taught me to be unapologetically confident, that if you’re in that room auditioning, they want to see YOU.© not avail

“My advice to any young actor auditioning would be: ‘Don’t waste time overthinking your speech or sizing up the room, there’s only one you, so do you’.”

Gavi Singh Cherawho acted in Headlong Theatre’s Pygmalion and Ria Zmitrowicz from the BBC drama Three Girls are other company successes.

Singh Chera said:Playing Up opens doors that would otherwise be closed to most of us.”

NYT recently took a world premiere to Dalston. Three, by Sophie Ellerby, was directed at the Arcola by Anna Niland, who believes that, with drama, “the power of becoming somebody else is extraordinary. It can be very liberating.

“These young people have been at risk and faced challenges that made them drop out of education.

“Some have been in care, some have depression, but working together we create a close-knit group, a bit of a family.”

AlaTurka 3: Adini Söyle (Say Your Name) by Ala-Turka rehearses at the Arcola Theatre 24 Ashwin Street Dalston London E8 3DL Jan 2014 © david.altheer@gm
A young Turkish drama group rehearses at the Arcola in Dalston

Hamish Scott 170717

* If you are interested in joining Playing Up, press this link.

* Backstory: Hackney group makes theatre work for youngsters 

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