03 June 2020

Louis set to tread the most elite boards with coveted National Youth Theatre place

A rare and coveted membership of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain has been awarded to a John Lyon student, who will now train and perform with the country’s very best young actors.

Lower Sixth A-Level Theatre Studies student Louis Tyrrell, learned of his achievement during May’s nationwide lockdown, having been involved in an audition process going back to the start of 2020.

After submitting his application, Louis attended a group improvisation and exercise workshop morning at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre before going on to a solo audition and interview. At the same time, similar auditions were taking place in 90 other venues across the country with many hundreds of young hopefuls all aiming for the same few memberships to the prestigious theatre company that has produced some of Britain’s most-loved actors, including Idris Elba, David Harewood, David Oyelowo and Zawe Ashton.

Throughout his time at John Lyon, Louis has been a mainstay of the Drama Department and is well used to auditioning, having appeared in plays and musicals as diverse as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.

On the National Youth Theatre audition process, Louis said: “In the one-to-one audition and interview I talked about my experiences, my thoughts on recent productions I had seen, and why I wanted to be an actor and what joining the National Youth Theatre would mean to me. For my audition piece I chose The Roses of Eyam, which I like because I could portray different emotions.” 

Louis’ membership of the theatre lasts until he is 26-years-old and will give him the opportunity to train and perform with the very best young actors, under leading directors in some of the world’s most famous theatres.

Current distancing restrictions mean things are a little different for the 2020 intake, but Louis hopes to take to the real stage soon. He added: “I will be attending the NYT Intake Course which has been moved online this July for two weeks and that will mean I am officially a member of the National Youth Theatre Company. I then hope to attend their courses, workshops and masterclasses and audition for their productions in the West End as well as national and international tours.”

John Lyon Head of Drama, Mr Sam Jones, said Louis’ success is no small thing: “It is a tremendous achievement that Louis has managed to get into the National Youth Theatre after his first audition. I have had pupils who have auditioned up to four times before being accepted. The NYT is a great route straight into the profession and has launched the careers of many stars including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Daniel Day Lewis. I wish Louis every success in his work with the NYT. Hopefully more and more talented students from John Lyon will now be inspired to apply.”