Mark Oldknow will be stepping down as Artistic Director of The Young Theatre in September. Mark joined the group in 1976 and served on committee as Membership Secretary, Publicity Officer and Group Director. In 1991 when he returned from Wales to study at LAMDA he was asked to help the group out by the then Artistic Director, Helen Sharman.
Since then he has worked tirelessly either in the background or as President or Artistic Director to develop the talent within the group alongside his professional theatre work and latterly his career within the NHS.
He has seen the group through some tough times; but has always put us and the membership first. He brought the panto to The Young Theatre after Tight Fit Theatre closed its doors in 2008 and took us to the finals of the British One Act Play Festival in 2004 with Ball Boys - which we won.
He remains immensely proud of the achievements of the group and of the members who have gone on to work in the creative industries. As he himself has often said, being a small part of the journey of such talented young people has been and is an honour.
But all things come to an end and he feels after 30 years that the group needs younger hands to guide it through the next part of its journey. He was intending to step down at the end of the 2019/2020 season; but the pandemic hit and he felt that departure at that point would have been far too disruptive. With a flourishing membership and growing technical team he feels now is the right time to step away.
He, and President Graham Southgate, are working on the "succession" plan and he hopes that the new Artistic Director will be in place for September. He will work alongside them for 2022's panto (Cinderella) before moving off to create work with Shared Intent Theatre, which he started to give YT members the opportunity to work with professionally trained and the best local amateur actors and technicians.
It's been a journey and he will be sorely missed.
WHAT WE DO
Time to Act
Whatever your skill level, there is a place for you in Young Theatre. Performances are not just about the leads. In fact, at YT we pride ourselves on our ensemble work.
We recognise and nurture talent, ensuring an environment in which it can flourish. And most importantly, it is given time.
But it is not just about the acting. We support a wide range of theatrical performance disciplines. Movement (1984), dance (Panto), writing (Burnham Trophy) and directing.
CONTACT THE YOUNG THEATRE
The Curzon Centre, Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield HP9 2RG