THE
NATIONAL YOUTH MUSIC THEATRE
OF GREAT BRITAIN

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The National Youth Music Theatre of Great Britain has existed for some twenty five years and, in that time, proved itself to be one of the world's most influential theatre companies for young people. During its years of operation, NYMT trained - and launched the careers of - several respected performers and was responsible for a fine catalogue of major new works in music theatre and performance.

DR MAGGIE SEMPLE, Chairman NYMT
Oral evidence - taken before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee - on Tuesday 14 October 2003

"Since 1976 when we were formed we began in a small way and we have developed over the last 25 years. We received funding from Andrew Lloyd Webber of about £200,000 a year for six years. In 1999 the funding ceased and at that time we had a turnover of about £750,000. We had grown, we were working predominantly in large scale productions but we had also undertaken an audit of our work and we had begun a programme of regional activity. The education audit that we undertook told us several things, one was that there was a market of young people out there who indeed wanted to experience musical theatre and these were young people that extended the base from which NYMT first grew, namely a boys' public school in the south of England. We began a programme of talent spotting, of engaging with all young people, all sets of society all over the United Kingdom in getting involved. If I tell you that in 2001 we provided 7,000 room nights in forty plus towns across the United Kingdom that will give you the scale of what we have done. The issue for us is at some point with funding being increasingly difficult to attract a decision had to be made. Unfortunately we took that decision on 22 September. We took the decision because when we looked to the future - our financial year ends December - we found that our deficit would be in the region of £70,000. With all honesty we could no longer sit there, because each summer we do sit as a board and bite our finger nails and go, "I know we will make it through, we will get there". This year we thought it would be more difficult to raise funds, so we have paused, we have undertaken the CVA, a Company Voluntary Arrangement, we have written to all our creditors and with that we are going to spend I would say until Christmas in our offices at the Palace Theatre - that Andrew Lloyd Webber has given us free, we used to pay rent but we now have it for free for the next three months - trying to stabilise ourselves. What we have done is contact Alumni. As Alumni can and do they called and pledged £40,000 and another US $5,000, which we have, so there is a will to keep us going. I cannot talk about our future because that would jeopardise the CVA route but I can say that we are determined (and the company has not closed) to ensure this activity continues in some [form] or another for the thousands of young people out in the United Kingdom."

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The Ballad of Salomon Pavey was the founding work of the NYMT. To see première details and extensive photograph galleries - historical information and production background - provided by the co-writer David Drew-Smythe, click on the hyperlink. You will also find research and general information pages, including material about the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London production 1999. There are also links to Shakespeare research pages, Elizabethan people, society and Tudor times.