Charley won festival weekend bursary

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An 18-year-old Alnwick Duchess’s Community won a fully-funded bursary to attend the Director’s Weekend for the National Theatre Connections festival at the National Theatre in London.

Talented actress and singer Charley Walker, who has taken many principle roles in both DCHS and Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre productions, has recently taken an interest in the production side of rehearsals, developing her skills as a stage manager with a view to pursuing this in future.

Currently stage managing both the Youth Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz and the DCHS play George Orwell’s 1984, Charley took a weekend away to join Youth Theatre director Sarah McLane at a series of workshops for the NT Connections Festival at the National Theatre.

This included meeting the playwright Harriet Braun, who was commissioned to produce the piece the Playhouse youth theatre’s senior group will be taking on in the new year.

Charley said: “The day cannot be summed up in one word.

“It was exciting, nerve wracking, fun, scary and very, very informative.”

Youth Theatre Director Sarah McLane added: “During the weekend, Charley was an excellent representative of Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre and made valuable contributions to our workshops and discussions with Iqbal Khan, an associate director at the National Theatre, and the playwright Harriet Braun.”

Overall, very few young people actually participate in the director’s weekend.

With more than 200 companies participating in the festival there were less than 20 young people in attendance and in their specific workshops, Charley was the only person of participation age present.