L&Q and the National Youth Theatre bring the housing crisis to London schools

Published on 16/02/2018

The National Youth Theatre, whose alumni include Helen Mirren and Daniel Craig, is coming to London to deliver a play about housing issues and homeless to secondary school children in some of the capital's most deprived areas.

The schools tour is being funded by L&Q and will use interactive theatre to educate children about the link between unemployment and homelessness, a pressing social issue not currently taught in the school curriculum.

The play will be performed by students from NYT's social inclusion programme Playing Up, which uses theatre to engage  19-25 year olds who are at risk or marginalised and equips them with the qualifications and life skills to move into higher education.

In addition to presenting the plays, NYT will recruit local young adults onto next year's Playing Up programme, at community venues in Lewisham, Newham and Waltham Forest where the play will be shown.

The Partnership aims to educate young people about key social issues as well as tackling youth unemployment in key London boroughs. The L&Q Foundation, which relaunched last month, is investing £250 million into its communities.

Matt Corbett, Director of L&Q Foundation said: “This partnership is the first of its kind and by bringing these two worlds together we hope to both inspire and educate our young adults about vital social issues like housing, equipping them with the knowledge and the tools to thrive in adulthood.”

Rebecca Manley, 2018 Playing Up Writer said: “This piece of interactive theatre, developed in partnership with young people on National Youth Theatre's Playing Up course allows students in London schools to consider the complexities and realities of young people facing housing challenges. Through the play and accompanying workshop they will interrogate what and how things can go wrong and what can be done to anticipate and avoid things getting worse.

The young cast and director will use the drama as a springboard to have meaningful discussions with the students about homelessness, the socio-economic and political context in which we are living and how we can all try and work towards all young people having a place they are happy to call home.”

The National Youth Theatre Alumni include: Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Catherine Tate, David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Smith, and many more.