The curtain is set to rise for budding young thespians thanks to a new, 'thought-provoking' initiative.

The Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis has teamed up with Devon-based theatre company Exeter Northcott to launch a youth theatre in the town.

Young people in Lyme will become the heart of the Marine Theatre when the Marine Young Company launches on Monday, April 23.

Sessions will take place every Monday in term time, with Exeter Northcott's Lizzie Hedden leading the tuition, which will lead to a performance at the venue for friends and family.

The company will provide a regular opportunity for 40 young people to make thought provoking theatre together in a professional setting.

There are two sessions for different age groups, one for school Years 5-7 and another for Years 8-11.

David Harraway, production director from Bristol Old Vic, is a trustee of the Marine Theatre and one of the driving forces behind the new initiative.

Mr Harraway said: "We're so pleased to make this announcement today. The benefits to young people in the community will be numerous. Many actors start their careers acquiring skills and performing in youth theatre.

"It's also fantastic for them to work as a team towards a common goal and see all the tasks in a theatre that are less obvious, from sound engineering to marketing."

Paul Jepson, artistic and executive director of Exeter Northcott, has expressed excitement to see the project in motion.

Mr Jepson said: "It's immensely satisfying to launch the Marine Young Company. Our own youth theatre has been a huge success and it is important for arts organisations to work together so we can share this expertise. This example is so gratifying.

"Together, we are nurturing the talents of more youngsters in another community."

Those interested in attending are invited to apply and no previous acting experience is required.

Enthusiastic young performers can contact the Marine Theatre on 01297 442394 or visit