A new generation of talent: Storyhouse Young Company 2023 announced.

A new generation of talent: The full cast have been announced for Storyhouse Young Company’s (SYC) new production of The Trials which comes to Storyhouse in June. 

Storyhouse Young Company (SYC) is a free training programme for 17-25 year olds who are interested in performing and making theatre.  

It is designed to give young and aspiring actors the opportunity to develop skills in acting, directing, writing and stage management, supported by a team of professionals with a wealth of experience in the industry.  

The programme, which runs for 6 months, involves practical workshops and masterclasses led by professional artists, and concludes with an intensive 3-week rehearsal and show period working with a leading director. This year’s programme culminates with a production of award-winning playwright Dawn King’s play, The Trials. 

A group of young people sat around a table talking.

The cast will include:  

Lara Field who has performed in plays across Liverpool and Chester (Patricia in The Ringo Kid at Hope Street Theatre, Britney in Park Life at The Casa Theatre and Ismene in Crown and Clan Divided [an adaptation of Antigone] at Storyhouse); Taylor Flemming, who trained in musical theatre from a young age and continued her studies in performing arts at the University of Chester; Christopher Flynn, a 22 year old profoundly deaf actor and recent alumni of The Royal Exchange Young Company; Matilda Freeman, who played the regular character of Summer Spellman on ITV’s Coronation Street and more recently appeared in BBC’s Alma’s Not Normal. She will also appear in the upcoming Amazon Prime thriller series The Power releasing in March 2023.

Olivia Johnson has been part of the Young Everyman and Playhouse since she was 16 and The Royal Court Youth Theatre for the past year; Sophie Lowe is in her second year at the University of Chester on the Performing Arts programme. She has previously taught in children’s theatre schools, such as Razzamataz and MOMO Academy, gaining experience as a Stage Assistant Choreographer and in directing; Conor Medlock is a northern actor from Merseyside, who’s recent credits include Traces (BBC), Tolkien (FOX), Anne (ITV), Anthony (BBC), The Stranger (NETFLIX). He is also a current member of the National Youth Theatre (NYT); Feana Salisbury has starred in a variety of semi-professional productions and enjoys literature, film, music, psychology as well as theatre; Ella Mei Burns is interested in languages, dance and theatre. Her favourite project to date was a devised physical theatre piece she did last summer.

Hannah Carleah is a 21 year old in her final year at The Hammond on their musical theatre degree course. She appeared as Princess Fiona in Shrek the musical at Storyhouse last year; Kameron Skeene recently graduated from LIPA Sixth Form College. She enjoyed performing as Emmett Forest in Castaway’s production of Legally Blonde; Seraya Brooks a 24 year old actor, dancer and psychology graduate from Manchester. Recent credits include performing in a contemporary pole dance piece in Contact Theatre’s reopening show last year; Lauren Robinson is a 23 year old actor who most enjoys theatre that breaks norms and ideals. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, she was part of a theatre in education company that toured plays in high schools around France and Belgium.

Darcy de Winter graduated in 2022 from Durham University with a degree in History, Politics and International Relations. She was a founding member of Rocket Theatre Company. During her time at university, she attended the Edinburgh Fringe with the award-winning student-written play Cottage by Ben Willows; Jade O’Shaughnessy is an actor, playwright and poet from Liverpool. She trained with Rare Studio Liverpool and National Youth Theatre, and is also a member of the Young Everyman Playhouse Writers. Previous credits include: The Laramie Project, The Basset Table, Les Liasons Dangereuses, Daisy Pulls It Off.

A man with glasses sat on the floor in discussion with young actors.
Tom Martin with some of SYC.

This year, SYC will be trained by Tom Martin, an actor, writer and teacher based in Liverpool, who trained at RADA. Tom was one the inaugural Storyhouse Masters’ scholars and holds a PGCE with QTS from Liverpool Hope. He is a supporter of the charity Arts Emergency and takes a particular interest in arts education and its effect on underprivileged young people.

Nathan Crossan-Smith will direct their production of The Trials.

A man wearing a yellow shirt with his arm out, giving directions
Nathan Crossan-Smith, director

Nathan is a director and practitioner from Manchester. He is Co-Director at Hydrocracker, a Trustee for Graeae and the Runner Up for the 2021 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award. His previous directing includes: WHO CARES 2032 (Royal & Derngate, Northampton), Bitch Boxer (Institute for Conetmporary Theatre), The Voyage Out– a dancetheatre piece after Virginia Woolf (Northern School of Contemporary Dance Research Commission), Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (Orange Tree), Richard II by William Shakespeare (LAMDA), Half Blue by Ava Wong Davies (Audible), Hurricane Protest Songs (Graeae), Doorstep Theatre (November Club). Nathan has worked extensively with young people and community groups through his youth justice lyricism project tipping point and in co-creation projects including with National Theatre, Barbican, National Youth Theatre, National Theatre Wales, 20 Stories High, The Yard, Contact, Gate Theatre, Donmar Wharehouse, Young Vic, Synergy, Kids Company, Royal Court and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hayley Lindley-Thornhill, Young Storyhouse Project Manager, says, Storyhouse Young Company is an incredible opportunity for young people in the North West. As a participant they get to train, explore, build professional relationships and make an important piece of theatre for our stages. It is vital that we can offer this experience that is free to access and I’m looking forward to working with such a talented group and skilled creative team. 

The Trails which was first performed at the Dusseldorfer Schauspielhaus in 2021 and received its British premiere at the Donmar Warehouse, London in 2022 is a searing play set in a near-future world, where those responsible for the climate emergency must face a jury of young people. But will the young jury deliver justice – or just take revenge? 

The Trials will open for booking in February 2023.  

Find out more about Storyhouse Young Company and how you can get involved here: Storyhouse Young Company (17-25 age group).