UK

Nature park hosts theatre piece featuring cast of more than 100 young people

An actor during the dress rehearsal for Nest at St Aidan’s RSPB Nature Park (Danny Lawson/PA)
An actor during the dress rehearsal for Nest at St Aidan’s RSPB Nature Park (Danny Lawson/PA) An actor during the dress rehearsal for Nest at St Aidan’s RSPB Nature Park (Danny Lawson/PA)

A 355-hectare nature park is the setting for a new immersive theatre piece, with a cast of more than 100, exploring themes of identity, existence and climate migration through the eyes of young people.

The audience of Nest will follow the performers as they move around the paths and ponds at St Aidan’s RSPB Nature Park in Leeds – a former opencast coal mine which features 12km of trails as well as reedbeds, wetlands, meadows and woodland.

Nest dress rehearsal – Leeds
Nest dress rehearsal – Leeds An actor during the dress rehearsal for Nest at St Aidan’s RSPB Nature Park (Danny Lawson/PA)

Nest – which features live music, design, visual projections, movement and performance – is a collaboration between the National Youth Theatre (NYT) and Leeds 2023, written by Emma Nuttall and directed by NYT’s chief executive and artistic director Paul Roseby.

Set in the year 2050, the story follows 20-year-old Skyler’s journey around the park.

The producers said it was conceived in response to an NYT members survey that found the climate crisis was the issue that young people were most interested in exploring theatrically.

Mr Roseby said: “Nest is the latest big show offering of NYT’s art and activism programme unlocking facts and stories of our climate crisis by animating locations and unusual buildings in a dramatic way.

Nest dress rehearsal – Leeds
Nest dress rehearsal – Leeds Nest has been co-produced and co-commissioned by Leeds 2023 and National Youth Theatre (Danny Lawson/PA)

“Staged at St Aidan’s stunning nature park, both local, national and international performers take action with a world premiere production to lift our hearts, minds and give hope to a fragile earth we call home.”

– Nest takes place at RSPB St Aidan’s Nature Park from Tuesday to Saturday. For tickets and more information visit leeds2023.co.uk.