DOZENS of amateur actors will descend on Darlington this weekend as part of a regional youth theatre festival.

The North-East Regional Youth Theatre Festival takes place at Darlington Civic Theatre, on Saturday, from 10am to 8pm.

Throughout the event, dozens of 11 to 18-year-olds will be able to immerse themselves in the world of amateur dramatics and watch a number of performances by actors from around the region.

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It will also feature a number of workshops, including sword fighting led by Ian Stapleton, musical theatre by Debbie Waistell and Beth Stobbart, and an introduction to directing by Andy Willoughby.

The award-winning Mischief Theatre Company, who will soon be bringing their show, The Play That Goes Wrong, to the theatre, will also host a comedy session.

The event is run in partnership with the National Association of Youth Theatres (NAYT) and is organised by the venue’s own youth theatre company - ArtSpark Youth Theatre – who have gathered every Saturday and Monday morning during May to plan the festival.

They will perform their adaptation of the Berlie Doherty novel, Dear Nobody, at the event, which follows the story of an unplanned teenage pregnancy and its effect on the young people and their families.

More than 90 young people attended last year’s event with performances from five youth theatres.

Tickets for young people who are part of a youth theatre with enhanced NAYT membership are £8.50 and £10 for other spectators.

For more information call the theatre's audience development and participation officer, Lyndsey Middleton, on 01325-387765 or email

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ArtsSpark Youth Theatre and Dance classes can be booked by calling the theatre’s box office on 01325-486555.