Saturday, July 20News For London

From Northwest London to centre stage: Theatre performers explore what it’s like to live in your 20s

The Harrow Young Creatives showcased a play based on the theme of ‘your 20s’ at the Harrow Arts Centre. 

The ‘So, what are we gonna do now?’ play. Credit: Matin Animashaun

‘So, what are we gonna do now?’ ran last Friday and references the questions many young people ask themselves nowadays. It addressed the concerns, hardships and tribulations people in their 20s face living in the UK.

Harrow Young Creatives is made up of performers in their late-teens to mid-20s from Northwest London looking to make a name for themselves in the theatre industry. It involves a partnership between the Harrow Arts Centre and LUNG, a campaign-led theatre company. 

LUNG works closely with different communities to tell their stories. It aims to give a voice to the voiceless through their shows which have a wider campaign and political aim, urging audiences to continue important conversations long after the production.

The play was created by a group of young people united by a desire to learn more about the theatre and understand the crafts of the industry. Emily Aboud, the play’s director, said that the theme of the play was “down to what the group wanted to make a piece about and they ultimately settled on what it is like in your 20s in post-Brexit UK and after 12 years of Tory government.”

Aboud said: “Over the last 12 weeks, we’ve been working with these young people who were selected by LUNG Theatre. This group of young people are united by a desire to learn more about theatre and to understand the craft of the industry. So the 12 weeks were sort of like different workshops every week, just one evening a week in different aspects of theatre making – movement, producing, music design, devising, dramaturgy –  to make rather a well-rounded theatre maker.”

Aboud is an acclaimed film director and writer, winning the Evening Standard Future Theatre Award in 2021. She was also shortlisted for the JMK award in 2021 and 2022. Additionally, she made the final round for the Genesis Fellow Associate Director at the Young Vic. 

Additionally, the Young Creative Programme sought to address the dearth of artistic opportunities for youngsters in the Northwest part of London.

The play’s producer, Camille Koosyial said: “When we were consulting with Harrow Arts Centre about the programme, we realised that there was a lack of opportunities for young people in the north-west area to take part in arts. So this focused on the north-west part of London.”

Blanche Fitzgerald, the Participation Programmer at Harrow Arts Centre said that the Young Creatives Programme has been great for the Harrow Arts Centre, as it enabled the centre to engage with young creatives and expand their horizon.

The Young Creatives Programme completes its run at the Harrow Arts Centre on the 30 November.