In September 2006 at the suggestion of my young colleague Oliver Lock I founded the Gloucestershire Youth Players for young actors over the age of 16. The group was designed to complement the Gloucestershire Young Shakespeare Theatre, or GYST ( the only UK based company for 12-16 year olds performing solely Shakespeare, uncut and unprompted) which I began in 2005. We are an entirely voluntary-aided company dependent upon ticket sales and donations for our survival.
GYP’s aims are to bring invigorating versions of Shakespeare’s texts to audiences in and around Gloucestershire. The focus is to give young people a springboard into the brilliance of one of the greatest playwrights in the English language by producing these seminal texts with an ensemble based company of serious young performers. We attempt to make what we do accessible and imaginative in its interpretation whilst keeping as faithfully as possible to the text. As one critic remarked in 2008: “GYP offers genuine opportunities to young actors and actresses to expand their knowledge of, and confidence in drama.