10 years young - Celebrating the Citizens Theatre Young Co.

Over sixteen productions, the Citizens Young Co. has supported young theatre makers by giving them the skills and opportunities to create work within a professional organisation. In the Young Co.'s 10th anniversary year, theatre director and blogger, Eve Nicol talks about her time in the early days of the company.


I had never been involved in school shows or youth theatres, but I had fallen in love with the Citizens Theatre on a school trip. I desperately wanted to learn more about how theatre companies made work for the stage.

I joined the Young Co. when I was 18. The group of teenagers who I met during my time with the Young Co. were the first of many young people the Citizens has supported since the company first began in 2005.

Experimenting on Woyzeck, Young Co. 2005.
We were a mixed bunch. The group was from a more diverse range of backgrounds and interests than I’d ever met at school or college. Spending hours together over the long periods required to create a show and we formed a firm group of friends. We learnt as much about each other as we did about theatre.

My time with the Young Co. made me aware of the variety of different jobs that were involved in getting a show to the stage. It wasn’t all about acting. The Learning team developed the work we did but we met all the other departments of the theatre who helped us get our ideas on stage. They kitted us out in costumes, helped to sell our show at the Box Office or conjured up stunning lighting designs that took our work to another level.

After our very first performance, everyone was hugging and screaming celebratory congratulations to each other in the theatre’s Circle Studio. I watched the celebrations from a step back. The feeling of pride in what we had created as an assorted bunch of teenagers who had only met each other two months ago was a greater feeling than any adrenaline of performing to an audience. I thought “we made this.” I took a photo of that moment and posted it all over our MySpace profiles.

The Chicago Project, Young Co. 2007. Photography by Iain G Farrell.

I left the Young Co. after four productions to go to university to study theatre. This choice would never have been made without the confidence my experience with the Young Co. gave me. Ten years on and sixteen Young Co. productions later, I’ve been working in theatre for over three years, doing now just as I did then – sharing the excitement of theatre on social media and creating my own work for the kind of intimate theatre spaces where I first found my feet.

This Is What We Ask, Young Co. 2012. Photography by Tim Morozzo.

There’s an entirely new batch of young theatre makers now part of the Young Co.  But many members of the early days of the company are now working in theatre. You might have seen two of them recently on the Citz main stage as professional actors. James Harkness was on tour with Headlong’s The Absence of War and Keira Lucchesi in the Citz’ own The Slab Boys.

James and Keira in Citizen Y, Nighthawks, Young Co. 2009. (photography by Tim Morozzo)

 L. The Absence of War at Headlong Theatre, Rose Theatre and Sheffield Theatres.
 (photography by Mark Douet)
R. The Slab Boys, Citizens Theatre (photography by Tim Morozzo)