Students at risk of being marginalised are invited to apply for a three-year theatre programme which aims to raise awareness about homelessness in today’s society.

Playing Up, run by the National Youth Theatre, will hold plays at Willowfield School in Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow, and George Mitchell School in Farmer Road, Leyton, in March.

The programme is made possible by support from L&Q Foundation which relaunched this month with a budget of £250m to invest into its communities.

NYT, whose alumni include Helen Mirren and Daniel Craig, is targeting aspiring actors and actresses aged between 19 and 25 for the social inclusion project.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Photo: Helen Murray

The plays will be performed by current Playing Up students and outreach sessions will be held across Waltham Forest to get more youngsters on board for next year’s productions.

Playwright Rebecca Manley said the cast and director will use the drama “as a springboard” to discuss “how we can all try and work towards all young people having a place they are happy to call home.”

She added: “This piece of interactive theatre, developed in partnership with young people on National Youth Theatre's Playing Up course allows students in London schools to consider the complexities and realities of young people facing housing challenges.

“Through the play and accompanying workshop they will interrogate what and how things can go wrong and what can be done to anticipate and avoid things getting worse.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Photo: Helen Murray

Matthew Corbett, Director of the L&Q Foundation said the project offers a “fantastic platform” to educate the younger generation about social issues not always taught in the classroom.

He said: “The National Youth Theatre has an impressive track record, having taught some of the world’s most renowned actors and we are delighted to be able to co-fund next years’ Playing Up and enable a new generation of students.”