Young Pleasance

Pleasance Theatre's award-winning young company

For ages 16-21

Young Pleasance is dedicated to offering dynamic, excellent and professional theatre opportunities for young people through workshops and large-scale productions delivered by our ambitious creative team.


Having produced annual original productions for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1995 the company have established an excellent reputation at the Fringe with audiences and critics alike.


Based at Pleasance London for rehearsals, the company then performs in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.



Young Pleasance at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024 

  • Before you apply, please read the Young Pleasance Information Pack to find out more.
  • How do I apply? Applications for 2024 are now closed. Application for 2025 will open in November 2024. 
  • What is it? Each year Young Pleasance creates a company of young aspiring creatives (performers and non-performers). The company specialise in large-scale ensemble work, creating dynamic and original shows with high production values and runs for two weeks at the Fringe. Having staged original productions for the Fringe for the last 25 years, the company has launched the careers of many performers, writers, directors and technicians.
  • Who is it for? Participants aged 16-21 interested in both on and off-stage theatre roles.
  • What do you get? The Edinburgh Festival Fringe production gives young performers and backstage crew a professional theatre experience, creating a large-scale production, before and during the largest arts festival in the world. 
  • Where will the auditions be? Fun workshop auditions are held at Pleasance, Islington 
  • What are the costs? All places are subsidised by Pleasance! A participation fee of £995 applies and there are means-tested bursaries available.
  • If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

To be eligible for 2025, you must be:

  1. Aged 16-21 in August 2025
  2. Available for auditions/interviews January, 2025, date TBC.  
  3. Available for an Easter workshop in April 2025, date TBC, along with rehearsals and performances in London and Edinburgh across July and August 2025.
  4. A versatile performer with vocal and physical skills OR interested in a backstage role ie stage management, lighting, sound or costume

Click here to view our Safeguarding Policy.

Click here to see a video of the Young Pleasance in action with Showgirls & Spies at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023. 


Press highlights from previous productions

For Showgirls & Spies, Young Pleasance 2023

★★★★★ "A firm audience favourite year after year...sheer talent always accompanies a Young Pleasance production." Theatre Weekly 
★★★★★ " This production has all the hallmarks of the Young Pleasance’s enthusiastic ensemble style. Certainly one that should be on your must-see list." British Theatre Guide
★★★★ "this play is as breathless and gripping as any spy thriller, and as energetic and entertaining as a can" Three Weeks 
★★★★ “Terrific storytelling and characterisations!" The Real Chrisparkle
★★★★ “Cracking Entertainment" ScotsGay Arts

For The Trial, Young Pleasance 2022

★★★★★ “Excellent ... outstanding ... skillfully written. A fast-moving, spirited production with a set to match that is constantly changing with an almost military precision’” British Theatre Guide
★★★★★ “Fantastic ... an extremely clever re-working of the original novel".” Theatre Weekly
★★★★ “a kaleidoscopic, expressionist fever dream ... as innovative as it is enjoyable.” EdFringe Review
★★★★ "a promising cast, destined for great things." Broadway World


For A Grave Situation, Young Pleasance 2019

★★★★★ “A remarkable achievement… inventively directed … the Young Pleasance leaves you wanting more!” British Theatre Guide
★★★★ “This is an incredible performance that is worth every minute of your time.'' Fringe Review
★★★★ “big...bold...and joyful energy which is fun for all the family” The Voice
★★★★ “A Grave Situation demonstrates for another year how vital the Young Pleasance is to the Fringe, creating productions of an exceptionally high standard which delight and entertain audiences, while at the same time providing immeasurable opportunities for young performers.” Theatre Weekly

For The Red Shoes, Young Pleasance 2018

★★★★★ “An absolute triumph” British Theatre Guide
★★★★★ “Sizzling...exceptional piece of work'' Fringe Review
★★★★ “Flawless, bursting with energy” Theatre Weekly
★★★★ “This talented cast is one to watch” TheatreBox Blog
★★★★ “Well performed classic” Southside Adventurer

For Curse of Cranholme Abbey, Young Pleasance 2017

★★★★★ "A chilling, dark and spooky show that holds the audience in its clutches from start to finish" Voice Magazine

★★★★★ "Young Pleasance are always one of the hottest tickets at the Edinburgh Fringe" 730 Review

★★★★ "Everything you could want in a thriller...sure to have you on the edge of your seat" Fringe Guru

For Alice Unhinged, Young Pleasance 2016

★★★★★ "Undoubtedly one of the must-see shows of this year's Fringe" British Theatre Guide

★★★★ "A delightful and highly entertaining piece of organised chaos. And the hats! Madness" Edinburgh Guide

"A visual treat from the get-go; a five-star opening set, and one stunning turn of costumes after another" The Scotsman

For fringe sell-out, The Hampstead Murder Mystery! Young Pleasance 2015

★★★★★ "Not to be missed...Kill to get a ticket" British Theatre Guide

★★★★ "Energy, charm and sheer luxury in a sparkling production" The Scotsman

★★★★ "Excellent production values...dynamic and imaginative" Broadway Baby 


Participant Testimony

Young Pleasance gave me the opportunity to work on exciting and engaging theatre with young actors and actresses who have now become life long friends. Young Pleasance provides the next generation of talent the opportunity to gain depth and backbone as a performer, and have an unforgettable experience at Edinburgh Fringe in a company with creatives you trust. I will always treasure my time with them. Ella Balinska, Actor

I owe a huge amount to YP and the creatives behind it. Doing my first YP show up in Edinburgh at 17 awoke a passion in me for performing and cemented my decision to pursue it professionally. It was the first time I had felt creative ownership of something. Our improvisations were being taken away and appearing on the page in rewrites for the next day's rehearsal. This way of working set the bar for a level of collaboration I would try to strive for in my professional work. I was supported and guided when I struggled to get into drama school for 4 years. Fortunately I finally did. My experience at YP gave me a huge amount of confidence when I was at drama school. I felt I had already begun to develop my craft and this made the training at LAMDA far less of a shock. Having gone through school, drama school and several jobs meeting lovely people, the friends I made at YP still make up the largest portion of my friendship group and that is a reflection of this wonderful organisation and one that I am eternally grateful to.Laurie Davidson, Actor  As a teenager with a passion for drama and theatre making, Young Pleasance gave me a unique opportunity to be part of a company full of peers with shared interests and ambitions. Not only was it immensely enjoyable and thrilling to perform in shows with high quality production values created by such a dedicated and talented team, but YP was where I learnt invaluable lessons about professional theatre making. YP taught us what it meant to be a true ensemble member and to take pride in and have respect for the rigour and discipline required for rehearsals and the run of a successful show. Being involved in Young Pleasance inspired and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in the theatre as a director.Marieke Audsley, Director 

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PDF icon YP-Application Pack 2024.pdf PDF icon Pleasance Safeguarding Policy - UK wide - 25_04_2024.docx_.pdf