NYT's Paul Roseby
Published: 12 July, 2013
by PETER GRUNER
HOLLOWAY-based National Youth Theatre – which launched the acting careers of Daniel Craig, who played James Bond, and Helen Mirren among others – is to be turned into an “arts hub” under plans unveiled this week.
The development could include opening up a new pedestrian route from Tufnell Park Road to the NYT in Holloway Road, close to Nag’s Head.
There will be courtyards providing space for cafés, crafts and a farmers’ market, in addition to the reconfigured rehearsal space.
Residents are invited to view proposals for the redevelopment at the NYT building at 443-449 Holloway Road from 1pm to 8pm on Wednesday.
Designs are being developed by Clerkenwell-based architects, Lynch Associates, and members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions.
The plans will remain on display on-site for informal viewing over coming weeks.
The site includes old factory buildings and a former meeting hall, now the home of the National Youth Theatre’s rehearsal rooms. The plans will restore and enhance the period frontage of the locally-listed building.
Paul Roseby, chief executive and artistic director of the NYT, said the scheme would be paid for partly by providing some housing on the site.
“It will give us security, ensure we can stay in Islington and provide a secure base for the future,” he said. “At the same time it could open out the NYT so that rather than being just a local building it is part of the community.”
The NYT moved to Holloway Road in 1989. As well as training young actors it works with schools in the borough.
It has held knife-crime prevention initiatives and open-access theatre workshops for young people at risk and created jobs.
Amelie Treppass, a spokeswoman for site owner HR Ltd, said: “Our vision is to provide a fantastic base for arts organisations while opening up the site for local people to enjoy.”
The NYT, a registered charity, was founded in 1956 as the world’s first youth theatre. It built a reputation as a breeding ground for actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Derek Jacobi and Rosamund Pike.