Who We Are

OK This isn't us but it looks good.

Crouch End Youth Theatre has been established by me, Jonny Siddall and is run with the support of local actor Melanie Palmer, and of course you the creative team.

I have been an N4, N8 resident for nearly 30 years and began my career in theatre at the RSC Barbican Theatre. Initially I worked in Theatre In Education as well as the Bush Theatre. I then was Head of Drama in East London for 4 years before setting up the Education Department at Hampstead Theatre. There as Associate Director (Education) I established the education programme and a successful 100 strong youth theatre (The Heat and Light Company). Heat and Light and the Education Department worked with many brilliant writers including Roy Williams, David Eldridge, Mike Bartlett, Debbie Tucker Green, Che Walker to name a few. The programme worked with many actors including Zawe Ashton and Riz Ahmed and the most well known actor to emerge from the youth theatre was Daniel Kaluuya who Roy Williams and I first worked with in school when he was just 9. He then joined the Youth Company. Writers Zia Ahmed and Athia Gupta also wrote their first plays with Heat and Light

For 14 years I ran Redbridge Drama Centre which over the past 10 years has expanded to a 7 day a week arts centre and provides all kinds of after schools activities in addition to professional shows. RDC has supported a huge range of theatre companies from their inception including Theatre Ad Infinitum and Rhum and Clay. In addition it developed Hip Hop theatre in association with Sadlers Wells and Atists 4 Artists.  I also reopened  the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford and ran it for its opening season. I will be running the Summer Schools.

Melanie is an actor originally from The States. She started her career in musical theatre at the age of seven for The Palace Theatre in New Hampshire. She went on to receive a BA in Theatre, Speech and Film at The University of New Hampshire.  She moved to Los Angeles, California to study different methods of acting for film. Melanie studied Roy London’s scene study for many years which helped her with auditions and work on various films, TV and commercials.  Melanie eventually moved to London where she is a partner for the film marketing company ‘Selva Productions’. She hopes to bring her energy, enthusiasm and positive outlook to helping young actors. If you are either pursuing a career in theatre or film, or just want to be part of a great experience she can’t wait to work with you. Melanie will not be running the Summer Schools.

Crouch End Youth Theatre is a response to the difficulties our teenagers have in accessing local meaningful activities to realise their creative potential. If you are a local professional actor, writer, director, designer who wants to support the Company please give us a shout!