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International Youth Arts Festival Launches 10th Anniversary Programme

Iyaf 2018 poster

The programme has been announced for the 2018 International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF), which takes place at venues across Kingston from the 6 to 15 July 2018.

  • Festival takes place at venues across Kingston upon Thames from 6 to 15 July 2018
  • Highlights include shows from Hoipolloi, NYMT and Chickenshed + a special event exploring how young people can make careers in the arts

  • IYAF started in 2009 and is now the UK’s largest multi-arts youth festival

  • Tickets for all 2018 shows are on sale via the Rose Theatre, Kingston

This year’s programme marks IYAF’s 10th anniversary and features over 200 performances and events over 10 days. Venues include the Rose Theatre, Kingston College’s Arthur Cotterell Theatre (ACT), the outdoor Visit Kingston Stage and a boat on the river Thames. There will also be performances at The Lamb in Surbiton and The Fighting Cocks and Woody’s in Kingston.

Cllr Malcolm Self, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Heritage at Kingston Council, said:

“This is the tenth anniversary of the festival and we are proud to be supporting young artists to showcase their work.

“Creativity is at the centre of our new cultural strategy and the International Youth Arts Festival is one of many events taking place in the borough to harness local talent and encourage new people to become involved in the arts.”

Companies taking part this year include Hoipolloi with their acclaimed one-man show The Duke, National Youth Music Theatre with their new production Super Hero - The Musical and Chickenshed Youth Theatre with Raft, exploring the refugee crisis. There will also be work from IYAF Creative Talent companies including ‘AndOn Theatre and Smoking Apples and a free event at Kingston University’s Reg Bailey building - So You Want to Work in the Arts? - aiming to help young people in their creative careers.

Highlights of the significantly expanded Comedy programme include Trevor Lock, Sarah Callaghan and Willis & Vere, while the Circus, Dance, Music and Visual Art categories are all bursting with young talent. Artists from countries including Turkey, Sweden, the Canary Islands, South Korea and Ghana are among those taking part this year.

About IYAF and Creative Youth

Now in its 10th year, the International Youth Arts Festival is the UK’s biggest multi-arts festival for artists aged under 27 and features some of the best new work from talented rising stars. Previous IYAF participants have gone on to forge highly successful careers and produce work that has won awards and acclaim worldwide.

Every year Creative Youth, which manages the festival, organises a competition for a young designer to create the artwork for the IYAF brochure and posters. This year’s winner was Belle Junput, a 16-year-old Kingston College student. Her winning entry can be seen on the IYAF programme, posters and flyers, and will be displayed alongside other shortlisted designs in the Rose Theatre throughout the festival.

To mark its 10th anniversary Creative Youth has announced the appointment of a panel of Young Creatives, who will steer the organisation going forward. They are: Katie Broderick, Alex Brown, Eleanor Clark, Emma Kendall, Tom Stocks, Germma Orleans-Thompson and Splash Morales Albarran. The Young Creatives have curated a special event titled So You Want to Work in the Arts?, which will take place at Kingston University’s Reg Bailey building during the festival and is free to attend

'Incredible first decade'

At Monday's launch of IYAF 2018, Robin Hutchinson MBE, the co-founder and chair of Creative Youth, was presented with a Citizens Badge by Mayor Julie Pickering for community service. He also cut the special 10th anniversary cake with the Young Creatives (see picture).

Robin Hutchinson said:

“One of the key concerns when we opened the Rose Theatre was to create a space for young people to feel valued and celebrate their talent. That led to the first IYAF and the founding of Creative Youth. It’s been an amazing ten-year journey, and so many people have helped us along the way. Now it’s important we all look forward to the next ten years, and keep nourishing the dreams and talents of the young people we serve.”

Louise Coles, CEO of Creative Youth, said:

“It has been an incredible first decade for an organisation that has done so much to support and enable young talent. This year’s IYAF will be a celebration of the best of our past, as well as looking firmly to the future. At a time when young people face ever-increasing challenges, we are proud of our legacy of giving them a voice and a platform to improve their life chances and career opportunities. We are really looking forward to welcoming the world back to Kingston this summer.”