Terrence (pictured centre) performing in the 2019 school production of ‘A Christmas Carol’.

We were delighted to learn that former student Terrence Stevens has been accepted into the National Youth Theatre (NYT), the most prestigious youth theatre company in the world. Alumni include Dame Helen Mirren, Idris Elba and Daniel Craig. Terrence is the thirteenth Isleworth & Syon student to be accepted into the NYT in the last nine years. Below, Terrence has written about the summer course which led to his acceptance.

The course was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life!

I arrived in Northampton at 4.00pm on Sunday. At first I was nervous because meeting new faces isn’t always the best thing but as soon as I entered my flat, I was greeted by one of my flatmates. After I settled down and unpacked all my things, there was a living room next to the kitchen where we all sat down. It was a little over 2 hours and we found ourselves laughing and making dinner!

I woke up at 7.30am on Monday prepared for the day and we made our way to the Royal & Derngate Theatre. There were only three other boys from my flat that were in my group and the rest were in different flats. We had a few games to get to know each other and soon it felt like we’ve known each other forever.

The rest of the week I was woken up either by singing, the saxophone, or a guitar and I wasn’t even angry. On Saturday, my group did a talent show. A few people sang, danced or performed short pieces from musicals. My few favourites were a poem performed by someone from Nottingham and she even had the accent, and a girl who did a card trick. I ended up doing the cha-cha slide.

The second week, we started to devise a performance for the other groups on Saturday and it was about how an Acorn grows into an Oak Tree and then cuts down for paper which is used for a book that goes through decades. We split into 3 groups: dancing, singing and acting, then our group leader was able to put us all as an ensemble. I was a lumberjack and it was fun being able to add some character.

We finally performed on Saturday as well as the other groups, and every performance including theirs was amazing.

Our final day was Sunday and it was emotional – everyone in my flat and group (including me) were crying. We did a little parody for the best moments in the course and I was mocked for showing my gaming setup on my phone on the first day to everyone in the circle and it made me laugh. My group had a little dance that we did every day to warm up so it hurt to do our final one.

It also made me cry to think that my sister used to pick me up every time we went to The Old Vic [on school trips] and I used to dream about getting into NYT, now she’s picking me up after I’ve finished the course.

NYT has made me realise that I’m far more capable of achieving as long as I put in the hard work. To think that I was one of the 5’000 people that auditioned and one of the 500 people that got accepted is crazy, now I can proudly say that…

I’m officially a National Youth Theatre Member!


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