How far would you go to fit in? 

Performed by young talent from National Youth Theatre’s Playing Up Company, Summer Fest is a brand new commission from NYT Alumna and award-winning writer Yolanda Mercy (whose recent credits include Quarter Life Crisis, recently broadcast on BBC Radio 1Xtra) exploring the dramatic highs and lows of the highlight of the social calendar. Summer Fest will bring to life the excitement and buzz of Fresher’s Week following the lives of 21 characters – plus wreak some havoc – at The Bunker theatre where the play runs from 10-13 July.

With dynamic direction from Lakesha Arie-Angelo, Associate Artist at Soho Theatre, whose recent work includes soft animals (Soho Theatre), and The Hoes (Hampstead Theatre).

‘Playing Up’ is a free, accredited nine-month drama training course from the National Youth Theatre for 19-24 year olds, which offers a second chance to young people who have fallen out of education and help gaining access to further training or employment. Now in its 11th year, the course has an 85% success rate of moving young people into higher education, further training or employment. Former Playing Up members who have gone on to further acting careers include Ria Zmitrowicz who starred in Three Sisters at the Almeida Theatre and will shortly return in The Doctor, Urielle Klein-Mekongo who wrote and starred in Yvette at the Bush Theatre and Seraphina Beh whose credits include EastEnders and the upcoming series of Top Boy.

This year, members once again hail from a wide variety of backgrounds, from single mothers to full-time carers, people with autoimmune disorders, learning and mobility difficulties to those receiving mental health support. Over the 9-month period the course has seen proven results and positive feedback in improving participants’ mental well-being, their social competence and ability, and a boost in self-esteem.

The Bunker, 53A Southwark Street, SE1 1RU from 10th – 13th July. Times: 7.30pm; Saturday matinee 3pm. Admission: £10, £8. Phone: 0207 234 0486

Photo: Ali Wright