Category: News

Dates for your diary

Join us on 2 February for a night of performance, celebrating local talent from Kingston’s communities. All in aid of the Mayor’s Charities, Kingston Samaritans, Creative Youth and Kingston Race and Equalities Council. Tickets are available from the Rose Theatre.

On 5 February at 7pm the Mayor is holding a Turkish Delight Night at local restaurant, Cappadocia, with mystery guests, bellydancing and excellent food. Tickets are just £29.50 per person and are available through the Mayor’s Office at or from Cappadocia restaurant.

Creative Youth welcomes new International Youth Arts Festival Director

International Youth Arts Festival Director, Petra Tauscher


Petra Jane Tauscher has been appointed the new Festival Director of the International Youth Arts Festival, Kingston Upon Thames.  

The Festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, is the UK’s largest international multi-arts festival for young and emerging artists with 200 events over 10 days.  

Petra joins IYAF from Manchester’s international contemporary cross art venue, HOME, which opened in 2015. As the Dramaturg and Creative Producer from its early conception in 2013, she contributed to shaping and launching its vision. Prior to joining HOME Petra was Head of Drama Development at Atlantic Productions, a major international independent television and film company, and spent a number of years working in theatre and film across Europe and the UK, in organisations such as the Berlin Ensemble, the Barbican and the BBC as a creative producer and dramaturg  

Louise Coles, CEO of Creative Youth – the charity behind IYAF – said ‘We’re delighted to have someone of Petra’s calibre at the helm as IYAF enters its eleventh year. Petra’s considerable creative talent, experience and fresh approach makes her the perfect candidate to build on the Festival’s reputation as the place to see the very best young, creative talent.’  

Petra Jane Tauscher said: ‘IYAF has achieved so much in just 10 years drawing audiences and artists with its buzzing, eclectic summer festival which crosses artforms and cultures.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on that excellent work and continue to create a bold, diverse and engaging international programme, which celebrates and supports young and emerging artists responding to the world today.’   

Robin Hutchinson, Chair of Creative Youth said, ‘We’re excited to welcome Petra as part of the team. We’re proud of what Creative Youth and IYAF has achieved over the last ten years and look forward to having someone of Petra’s vision and talent on board.’ 

Mayor’s Charity of 2018 – 19

We are delighted to announce that we are one of the Mayor’s Charities for 2018 – 19. He will be supporting Creative Youth, Kingston Samaritans and Kingston Race & Equalities Council during his mayoral year.

2018 marks the 10th year of the International Youth Arts Festival and it is fantastic to receive the Mayor Thay Thayalan’s support at this key time for the charity.

You can read the Mayor’s announcement here.

Join us at the Creative Youth Annual Gala Dinner


For over a decade, Creative Youth and the International Youth Arts Festival have been inspiring, supporting and fostering young talent. None of this would have been possible without your support and continued involvement.

We would like to invite you to join us at the Creative Youth Annual Gala Dinner on 3 December. The black tie event features first rate entertainment from some of our young performers and we would be delighted if you were able to join us for a wonderful evening.

The dinner will take place at Glenmore House in Surbiton from 6.30pm on Monday 3 December 2018. Tickets are £100 per person or £900 for a table of ten. This includes sparkling wine and canapes on arrival, a fantastic 2-course meal (with half a bottle of wine) followed by coffee, dessert and fun!

Please email to secure your place. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to email us or contact our office on 020 8549 2120.

We really hope you can join us for what promises to be an evening of top quality talent, superb food and hearty laughter.

International Youth Arts Festival: Design Competition Launched

International Youth Arts Festival Kingston
Design Competition Launched  








  • Competition to design official artwork for the 11th International Youth Arts Festival 
  • Open to designers aged 16 – 26 who live or study in the UK  
  • Winner receives £500 prize and professional mentoring  

The International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF), Kingston has launched its Young Designer Competition 2019.  

The competition gives designers aged 16 – 26 years old, who live or study in the UK, the chance to design the official artwork for IYAF 2019.  

 IYAF brings some of the best young talent from around the world to Kingston for a week of inventive, inspiring and groundbreaking theatre, music and dance. The  Festival will run from 5 – 14 July 2019 at venues across Kingston.  

The successful design will be used for the 100-page Festival brochure, branding and promotional materials. The winner will also receive a £500 prize and mentoring from a professional designer.   

Louise Coles, CEO of Creative Youth, said: ‘We have celebrated 10 years of IYAF and are now looking for a new contemporary design style and vision to take us into the next 10 years. We want bold, brilliant designs which capture the creative talent and buzz which IYAF brings to Kingston each summer.’  

More details and application guidelines here
See 2018’s winning design, by Belle Junput, here.

 For more information contact 

Twitter: @IYAF #IYAF 

Creative Talent Programme Artists announced

After receiving a number of high quality applications, the panel chose three companies/artists who demonstrated talent, ambition and determination. The selected artists are:
Sculptress Theatre: A ground-breaking theatre company that explores and re-defines traditional narratives
“We are so excited to be part of the next batch of Creative Talent companies! We have seen the amazing journeys that other companies, like Dumbshow, have had, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.” – Germma Orleans-Thompson and Alisha Artry (Co-Artistic Directors)

Sculptress Theatre was borne out of frustration and hope. We are part of the new wave of theatre-makers who break conventions and norms, who explore and redefine traditional narratives.

We have heard and used the term ‘black theatre’ to refer to any piece of theatre that discusses race. But we don’t want to make ‘black’ theatre. We just want to make theatre, and be unapologetically black whilst doing so.

Sculptress Theatre is a place for dreamers and exceptional individuals to share their truth. We create work that is political and nuanced by simply existing on a stage, and we can’t wait for you to join us on it.

What is Written Dance Company: An award winning dance company, based in Kingston, who bring different artists together and embody diversity by fusing contemporary principles with urban movement
“We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity and I am excited about working closely with an organisation that actually cares about the artist!” – Jean Pierre Nyamangunda (Co-Artistic Director)

What Is Written Dance Company was founded by artistic directors and choreographers Viviana Rocha and Jean Pierre Nyamangunda. Formed as a platform to bring different artists together, the company embodies diversity by fusing contemporary principles with an urban movement.  The choreography encompasses raw and commanding movement to create visually striking work.

What Is Written Dance Company delivers meaningful experiences during our performances. We believe that even though dance can change the world a little, it can change an individual’s world entirely.

Marika McKennell: A london-based scriptwriter, performer and poet, informed and inspired by her mixed heritage and the diverse cultural influences that make up her hometown.
“As an emerging artist, it means so much to feel supported and recognised. Life can get hectic. I’m excited to meet the other people on the programme and broaden my creative network”
Marika is a London based scriptwriter, performer and poet. Marika’s work is informed and inspired by her mixed heritage and the diverse cultural influences that make up her hometown. She was a Resident artist at the Roundhouse London 2017-2018, and performed her solo poetry/theatre show there July 2018. She has had her poetry and scripts performed at venues such as Sky Garden London, The Royal Court Theatre (Takeover), Shaftsbury Theatre West End, Edinburgh Fringe and Camden’s People’s Theatre. As well as performing, Marika works as a teacher and mentor in a Pupil Referral Unit in East London.
Molly Freeman, Creative Talent Programme Manager said:
“It is so exciting to be working with these incredible young people and I’m looking forward to getting to know them across the next year. I was staggered by the ambition of these artists and hope we can really help to propel them forward into the industry. Articulate, creative and hugely passionate; watch out world, the CTP artists are coming for you!”
about the Creative Talent Programme


The Creative Talent Programme identifies young and emerging artists and companies who have the potential to become excellent creative practitioners and gives them the artistic, business and strategic support to become flourishing, challenging, exciting organisations of the future. Over the course of a year, the selected companies/artists will receive funding to develop a piece of creative work, a bespoke, art form specific mentor, access to rehearsal space and office space and a series of professional development sessions.
The Creative Talent Programme 2018 – 2019 is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England and will work in partnership with the Royal Borough of Kingston council, Kingston University, the Rose Theatre Kingston and Kingston College.

Mayor’s Charity Feast

We’re delighted to be one of the Mayor’s chosen charities for 2018-19.

On Friday 19th October, the Mayor is holding a Charity Feast where attendees can enjoy a wonderful evening of fun, entertainment and amazing food in aid of the Mayor’s Charities. Please see below for more information:

Friday 19th October 2018 7pm

The Guildhall

£70 per person

Tickets include a welcome drink, canapes, a three-course contemporary Pan Asian feast with wine and entertainment

Dress Code: Cocktail attire

There will also be a silent auction and grand prize draw

For information about ticket sales please contact

International Youth Arts Festival 2019 – Applications Open

IYAF applications

Creative Youth is excited to announce that applications for Kingston’s 11th International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) are now open.

As one of the world’s largest multi-arts festivals for performers aged under 27, IYAF brings some of the greatest young talent from around the world to Kingston for 10 days of inventive, inspiring and groundbreaking theatre, music and dance. The 11th Festival will run from 5 – 14 July 2019 at venues across Kingston including performances held at Kingston’s Rose Theatre, Arthur Cotterell Theatre and a free outdoor stage with live music at the historic Market Place.

IYAF has a reputation for its welcoming atmosphere and supportive audiences. It provides a platform for professional companies or artists who are touring, or testing something new, and an exciting experience for festival first-timers looking for an opportunity to show what they can do.

The full Festival programme will be announced in May.

For more information on the application process, visit: Applications can feature work of any genre: theatre, music, dance, film, comedy, circus, cabaret, visual arts and more.

Interested in participating in IYAF 2019?

Explore and share new ideas with audiences and artists from around the world. We can provide a platform for you to showcase your work, whatever your artform. If you’re interested in bringing an event to the International Youth Arts Festival, please take a look at our Artists area of the website, or speak to one of our team on 0208 549 2120 or email

The Reptiles Not Christmas Charity Gig

1 December 2018
Arthur Cotterell Theatre
Doors open at 19:00

Join us on 1st December for The Reptiles Not Christmas Charity Gig – a night of live music, dancing, singing and laughter.

Get some friends together and celebrate the fact that Christmas is still a long way off.

Tickets are available here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

International Youth Arts Festival 2018

Illustration by Lucie Arnoux

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the International Youth Arts Festival. The festival ran from Friday the 6 – 15 of July.

One of the largest and most diverse youth arts events in the world, IYAF is platform for the best emerging international artists under 27 years old. More than 100 companies have been involved this year from all over the world.

Visit the IYAF website for more information about the performers who came to IYAF 2018

Photos from this year’s festival can be found here.

Thank you to supporters, volunteers and participants for making this year a great success!