Six leading producing theatres have announced today a joint commission with Andy McGregor to create a piece of new writing for, with and about young people.

The Scottish born theatre director, writer and composer McGregor, whose recent work includes Naughty Cat and the Cheesy Moon (Edinburgh Fringe, RCS) and Love 2.0 (Sleeping Warrior, Scottish tour), entered the winning submission in an open call out put out by the six venues to create a socially and politically resonant piece of theatre informed by young people. The piece will be performed at each venue by young people in Summer 2019.

Demonstrating a commitment to providing young people with a platform of expression, Dundee Rep Theatre, Northampton’s Royal & Derngate, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Northern Stage, Derby Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse worked hand in hand to find this year’s chosen writer. The commissioning process, which is led by young people, invited writers to create a piece of theatre which challenged perceptions of young people across the UK, and saw a record number of applications submitted. Over the coming months, Andy will continue to visit each venue collaborating with young people across the UK to inform the new piece. In October four young people from each venue will come together for a residential weekend to work on the first full draft of the play with Andy.

Writer Andy McGregor said: “As an avid supporter of youth theatre I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to write a play for so many young people around the UK. I am excited about bringing a vibrant, fun and celebratory piece to the stage – highlighting the adventures and challenges of being young in Britain today. I am particularly looking forward to working with the young people on developing my script, allowing them to shape it and influence wherever it goes.”

James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse said: “We are thrilled to have co-commissioned such a brilliant and evocative writer in Andy. His previous work has had real resonance with the young people who have read it, and I can’t wait to see how the participants across the country will interpret this piece. This is a process more than just the end product – it is about training young people to be rounded artists, gaining a full understanding of the creative process. I can’t wait to see the result.”

Following the development process, up to 30 young people at each venue aged 14 – 21 will perform their own interpretation, resulting in audiences from across the UK seeing his writing performed by over 150 people in six different versions.

This new young person’s commission follows three previous successful collaborations amongst leading producing theatres, with pieces including Girls Like That by Evan PlaceyImmune by Oladipo Agboluaje and most recently The Blue Road by Laura Lomas.