The Young Pretenders Summer Season 2017!

The Young Pretenders are raising funds for their 2017 summer season; touring an original play & Exeter's first dedicated youth arts festival

We did it!

On 25th Apr 2017 we successfully raised £9,650 of £5,500 target with 110 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

Initially, we stretched our Crowdfunder total because we were lucky enough to recieve funding from Arts Council England, who are matching 50% of our original total. Following the unprecedented support from our wonderful crowd over the past 20 days, and a long chat yesterday evening, the TYP team would like to let you all know that sadly our second Grants For The Arts funding application, which we were pursuing in tandem with this Crowdfunder, was rejected earlier this week, on the grounds that the organisation believes our artistic quality isn't strong enough to warrant larger funding.
Whilst all of your help with our Crowdfunding pot means that our summer season can still go ahead, it also means that our staff time and resources will be stretched to the absolute maximum as everything has be funded via this one method.
Due to this, we've decided to raise our stretch target to £10,000; roughly a further £1,500 to raise over the next 10 days. With your support, we can use this money to prove that the work we carry out with our young people is of a high artistic quality, and is worthy of core funding in the future.
Please keep giving generously and spreading the TYP word. You are shaping the future of this company - thank you so much!


Established in Exeter in January 2015, The Young Pretenders Theatre Company (TYP) is a home-grown enterprise that has developed into an award-winning company. Built in collaboration with our young actors, TYP strives to inspire young people aged 11-18 to pursue a creative future through the teaching and creation of innovative theatre. Our mission is to challenge the misconceptions surrounding the capabilities of young artists, as well as the assumption that youth theatre isn’t a professional form in its own right. Last year we were finalists in the National Theatre's Connections 500 Festival, and performed on the Dorfman stage in July.


After last year's success, the TYP team are knuckling down and DOUBLING our project output, launching two brand new schemes this year. We have never been more committed to contributing to our city's arts ecology and affirming our place as key players in creating high quality arts opportunities for young people. Small team, big dreams!

By becoming part of the TYP crowd you will be supporting the production and tour of a brand new full length play and Exeter's first dedicated youth arts festival. 


This January, we launched TYP's first Rep Company. Consisting of a group of 12 young actors, the company are currently hard at work rehearsing a brand new play commission, 'Not Our Turn'. The motivation for the project became apparent during last year's EU Referendum.  There was a unanimous sense of voiceleness among the company as, despite being well-read on the subject, all of our young people were below voting age. In an attempt to combat this response, TYP commissioned a young emerging playwright to create a play that would listen to and vocalise some of our young people's concerns. Research and development sessions took place last term, and, after feedback from the cast, the play is now in its final draft – exciting stuff!

'Not Our Turn' will be performed in Exeter in early May, at a site-specific location. After taking on board audience feedback and continuing work on the show, cast and crew will then transfer to the Clapham Omnibus theatre in London for a limited run in July.

We are also delighted to announce that 'Not Our Turn' will have one final outing at Exeter's very own Northcott Theatre in early September!


For our second annual project The Young Pretenders are creating and hosting Exeter's first ever youth arts festival, TYPify, taking place at the historic Poltimore House from the 7th - 9th of July. Over three nights, we are welcoming Devon's young artists, poets, musicians and theatre makers to a youth takeover. Whilst raising money for the repair and refurbishment of Poltimore, we will be creating a professional platform for Devon's emerging artists, encouraging collaboration, aspiration, and high quality cultural engagement for Exeter's community. 

Some of our fabulous TYPify participants include Exeter College, MED Theatre, Barbican Theatre Plymouth, the South West Camerata, Macula Collective, and Tin Soldiers - more to be announced very soon!

TYP will be headlining TYPify with our newly devised show, 'The Psuedo Project', inspired by E.M Forster's 1909 novel, 'The Machine Stops', and are currently working hard with a company of 16 young people on creating a brand new narrative that looks at salvaging human connection in a digital age. 'The Pseudo Project' will also be showing in Plymouth at the end of May, where we will be welcoming audience feedback. Have a look at our rewards to have a sneak peak of the characters!


So, you've heard all about the projects... now how are we going to make it happen? TYP has been lucky enough to receive a grant from Exeter City Council, but we still very much need your help to make these projects a reality, and the very best reality that they can be.

A large part of our ambition at TYP is to create professional opportunities for young people and unfortunately, this cannot be achieved with relentless enthusiasm alone. We want to pay local artists fair rates, we want proper staging, a comprehensive tech set up, a strong marketing campaign and we want to do our talented young company justice. We're aiming for the moon on a string. 

We very much hope you like the sound of our 2017 summer season, and will consider donating to our crowdfunder. With your support, we can really make this summer one to remember, and provide new and exciting opportunites for young artists in Exeter. Help us reach the moon!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our 2017 summer season. If you fancy having a more in-depth look at our projects past and present, check out our website and social media to see what we're up to. If you haven't got the time then check out some of our project photography below and don't hesitate to get in contact – we'd love to hear from you!



Twitter: @TY_Pretenders

Instagram: @ty_pretenders

"I am a different and better person because of TYP. It's helped me achieve so much more than I could ever imagine." TYP Participant (15)

"The focus and concentration of every single member of the group is a wonder to behold - and would be a credit to any theatre group regardless of age or ability.” TYP Parent, 2015

"Lucy creates a culture of mutual support and an environment in which the children feel able to take creative risks and have any contribution valued.” TYP Parent, 2016

“TYP has increased my confidence from almost breaking down when having to do a presentation at school to performing an actual play in front of a real audience!” TYP Participant (14)

'I'm Spilling My Heart Out Here', Move 2016, © Thomas Hanks

'I'm Spilling My Heart Out Here', Move 2016, © Thomas Hanks

'I'm Spilling My Heart Out Here', Move 2016, © Thomas Hanks

'Not Our Turn': TYP Rep Company in rehearsal, 2017

'The Pseudo Project': TYP TYPify festival company in rehearsal, 2017 © Michael Gear-Smith

'The Pseudo Project': TYP TYPify festival company in rehearsal, 2017 © Michael Gear-Smith

This project has been approved for funding through the Artists + The Crowd match funding. It will receive a top up of 50% towards its fundraising target from Arts Council England.

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