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The Night Shift Young Company 2020 was a 5 day workshop this February Half Term for 16-21 year olds, interested in developing their creative performance and devising skills in a fun, safe and professional environment. This particular Young Company week revolved around the themes of Zoo Co's next show Night Shift which is currently in the early stages of Research and Development. We ingeniously named it the Night Shift Young Company (NSYC). 


The NSYC helped start the conversations around the show and offered the young artists to create and develop their own ideas in relation to the themes of Night Shift. They also learnt lots of new skills and got a taste of what it’s like to be in an professional ensemble. 

They worked with established playwright Paula B Stanic, movement director Brian Duffy and Zoo Co's Artistic Director Flo O'Mahony, to explore the ideas of Night Shift to help Zoo Co create a show they would want to come and see.


- Paula B Stanic has worked at The National, Young Vic, Soho Theatre and many other London venues.

- Brian Duffy is an actor, movement director and BSL consultant specialising in Visual Vernacular and Shakespeare amongst many other things!

The workshop culminated in a relaxed sharing of a 30 minute piece they had made over the previous 5 days of work in front of a friendly audience as well as industry professionals who also held a panel talk after the sharing.

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So, what is Night Shift about? Night Shift is set on one night in Croydon, which is possibly the last night on earth, but the characters in the story don’t know that. We are looking at reasons people are awake in the middle of the night - maybe they are NHS workers, cleaners, railway staff, a new mum, an insomniac, a party goer on their way home. How does it feel to be awake when you think everybody else is asleep? What does Croydon look like at night? Night Shift will include d/Deaf and hearing actors and leaders.​


This workshop was open to d/Deaf and hearing young people age 16-21. We provided interpreters and we gave the company the chance to learn basic BSL skills, too which was particularly important as they were working with both hearing and d/Deaf creatives during the workshop. 


Everyday was different as is the way when developing a new play, but here are some of the things we focused on:


  • Playing games and warming up

  • Acting 

  • Movement

  • Telling stories visually

  • Story structures

  • Working as an ensemble

  • Creative risk-taking

  • Creating accessible theatre

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