We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the John Thaw Foundation in 2015 to enable us to offer individual training and mentoring to 6 young people from our Young Company.

GroupNewsItemArticleSince September 2012 the John Thaw Foundation has enabled us to offer creative bursaries to 18 young people.

The John Thaw Trainee scheme is designed to support young people who we feel have the potential to be the theatre-makers of the future, who have shown themselves to be both talented and reliable, and who may face barriers to taking part in some aspects of our programme. The young people selected as John Thaw Trainees will receive financial, pastoral and professional support from the Theatre in order to fully achieve their potential.

Over the course of the year, the trainees will take part in an individual training programme which includes regular workshops and exclusive access to rehearsals, master-classes and one to one mentoring to support their creative development.

We asked this year’s trainees to summarise their experiences at the Royal Exchange and describe their hopes for this year…

Ayanda NdlovuAyanda Ndlovu – was previously involved in our Everyday Heroes project in Ashton and is now a member of the Performers. “Being selected as a trainee shows that someone has belief in me. At the Royal Exchange, we’re treated like professionals and I feel part of a company.”

Jake Mainwairing
Jake Mainwairing
– is in his first year at the theatre and is a member of the Performers. “I feel proud to be part of this scheme. I have loved meeting new people with similar interests and hope to develop my performance skills and confidence.”

Justina Carmen AinaJustina Carmen Aina – is a Designer Technician. “So far my time at the Exchange has boosted my confidence and belief in myself. There is such a level of professionalism and you are demanded to push yourself. Being chosen as a trainee is a sense of relief, that my dreams and goals are achievable, even though I don’t come from a theatrical background.”

Lizzie Lomas
Lizzie Lomas
– is a Writer. “I am excited about being part of the creative experience and a community. This is an opportunity to push yourself and collaborate with professionals.”

Oscar JonesOscar Jones – was previously involved in our Songlines programme and is now focusing on developing his performance skills. “I would like to improve my confidence to be on stage and to work with other people. I want to push boundaries and step outside of my comfort zone. It’s my time to shine.”

Shaban DarShaban Dar – is a Performer. “I’ve never performed outside of college. Every time I come to the Exchange, I’m with people who enjoy it and have the same drive as me and it’s completely different because of the professionalism required. There is a real sense of community - there is no judgement as you’re not expected to fail. It has helped me constructively critique work and think outside the box more so than I did before. Now being a Trainee means a lot because people outside of school have recognised my passion for acting and wants to help me develop as a performer.

For further information about the John Thaw Trainee Scheme or the Young Company please contact Matt Hassall, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..