Vince Manna - Photo: Kevin Murphy

Meet the 2016 Auditions Team - Vincent Manna


Choreographer and Movement Director Vincent Manna offers advice to prospective auditionees.

Training: I trained Rambert Dance School. After dancing professionally I then went to train at The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art where I now teach and create movement theatre. I am also a freelance actor.

What are you looking for from auditionees?

Commitment. Approaching the audition with a huge sense of play. Generosity. Courage. Taking Risks. Taking the work seriously, but not themselves too seriously in the work. Be open to learning new things. Being Adaptive.

Tips for auditions:

Bring loose clothing. Bring Water. Turn up early. Listen to what is being asked of you and then THROW YOURSELVES INTO IT. Have fun. Take risks. Be open to working in an ensemble.

Why should people get involved with YMT?

It will build your confidence. It will develop your singing, acting and movement skills. You will get valuable experience in performing on stage and in playing different spaces. You will understand what it means to work in an ensemble. You will get to contribute your ideas to the final piece. You will have more fun than you can possibly imagine! You will make friends for life. You will learn life skills as well as performance skills. You get to be away from your parents. You make a piece of magic in a very short space of time.

Favourite show?

Punchdrunk’s Faust

What/who should young people research in the arts?

Gecko. Punchdrunk. DV8. Frantic Assembly. Complicite. And the work of Pina Bausch.

Favourite food?

Egg Soldiers

Ideal holiday?

Walking the camino in Spain. Or relaxing on a sun soaked beach on some isolated Greek island

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?

Scone (Gone)

After researching all those fantastic theatre/movement/dance companies, make sure you book your audition to join the YMT Company! Book here.

Rachel Birch-Lawson - Youth Music Theatre UK

Meet the 2016 Auditions Team - Rachel Birch-Lawson


Choreographer and Dance Artist supremo RACHEL BIRCH-LAWSON talks about what she's looking for from our 2016 auditionees

Training: I trained at London Contemporary Dance School (The Place) and then on Dance Beyond Borders in Germany, Portugal, Belgium, and the UK. I’m freelance, so I work all over the place. A lot of my work is now based in Kent, but I tour nationally and have lived and worked across Europe and Africa.

What are you looking for from auditionees?

Willingness to have a go! I’m most interested in the energy and commitment you bring. It’s not about shapes and positions, but about intention and throwing yourself into the experience.

Tips for auditionees:

Work hard, but don’t take it too seriously - it’s a fun day and I always notice people who are enjoying themselves.

Why should people get involved with YMT?

It’s a unique opportunity to be part of making something special - and to come together with other young people with shared passions.

Favourite show?

It changes all the time. One of the best pieces I’ve seen recently was Peeping Tom’s 32 rue Vandenbranden. I also loved Slava’s Snow Show for its epic special effects!

What/who should young people research in the arts?

Try everything, see as much as you can! Don’t stick to one genre or only watch shows you know you will enjoy - try things that you’re not certain about. You might learn something new!

Favourite food?

Avocado. Also olives.

Ideal holiday?

Something with adventure - maybe learning to kite surf somewhere with warm water.

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?


Have a read of our other 'Meet the Auditions Team' profiles! Don't forget to book your audition too!


Fame - Review by Rosalind Tait


**** (4 Stars)

Grand Opera House, York - Monday 17 March, 2014

This production is the new, updated version of the classic 80s musical. Being too young to have seen the original, I can’t compare the two, but I certainly noticed that it is brought right into the current day. In one of the very first scenes, the auditionees are seen receiving their results just as we ourselves often do – either via mobile phones or tablets.

I attended the opening night of the York run, and the house was pleasingly full, spanning all three generations and predominantly female.

The story traces the three-year journey of a new intake of students at the New York High School for the Performing Arts. The characters are all majoring in dance, acting or singing, and, with a lot of “hard work”, they all aspire to become famous in their chosen field.

The stage set up is interesting, with the top half given completely to a mezzanine level on which the band plays. Although this arrangement allows the audience a great view of the musicians, it does limit the scenery possibilities. The moveable trucks, which do give a good representation of locker rooms, stairways and other school settings, are wheeled off-stage and around each other so often that it becomes rather tiresome to watch.

The cast has boundless energy, and features probably stronger dancers than actors, with a couple of exceptions. Landi Oshinowo, playing Miss Sherman, has great stage presence and a voice to match. The scenes between Serena (Sarah Harlington) and Nick (Alex Jordan–Mills) are probably amongst the most believable. The eye is always drawn in the dance scenes to Alex Thomas, playing Tyrone, who has incredible technique and puts all others in the shade: even his ballet dancing partner seems to land more heavily than this graceful giant, twice her size. 

Overall, it is a great, feel-good show, but the plot itself is a bit of a mish-mash of individual stories. You leave the theatre on a high of a well-known Disco hit, but you don’t have much empathy with any of the characters. This is no fault of the cast – it’s just a journey that maybe has too many passengers.

Fame is currently on a UK Tour. All the information is here:



BalletBoyz - Review by Madi Clarke


***** (5 Stars)

Grand Opera House, York - Wednesday 12 March, 2014

The performance consists of two separate dances. Both performances started with a short video expressing the chorographers’ intentions and giving an insight to the dancers. In addition, these short clips provided an understanding of the amount of hard work that had been given to every element of the show.

The first entitled ‘Serpent’ is a contemporary piece that involves fluid movement with classical music accompanying it. The costume is minimal, exposing the male dancers' physiques. As intended by the chorographer (Liam Scarlett), this enhanced the movement perfectly and does not distract. More over, Scarlett’s use of partner work creates a relationship on stage between each of the dancers, drawing you in.  Each Dancer has amazing talent and clearly portrays a variety of emotions.

Max Richter’s music delivers a classical beauty to the piece; enriching the overall experience Serpent is a truly mesmerizing performance.

The second dance, Fallen, choreographed by Russell Maliphant is equally alluring, although provided a very different mood. The movement is raw, jagged and extremely well danced. In contrast to the first piece, Michael Hulls lighting was integral to the overall feel, with the use of shadows and spotlights. Moreover, the clever staging means the audience has a clear view of the wings and lighting equipment. This opens up the stage, inviting the audience in, and gives an added intensity to the overall performance. The music in Fallen was evocative, building to crescendos. It involved sounds effects of water dripping and wings beating.

The artistic directors, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, and rehearsal director Cameron McMillan have formed a breathtaking experience worthy of 5 stars, with the ten extraordinarily talented Balleyboyz.

For all the information on BalletBoyz, check out their website: