Young Pleasance

Pleasance Theatre's award-winning young company

Providing on and off stage roles in London and Edinburgh

Image of Alice Unhinged, Young Pleasance 2016

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 over the last 24 years the company have established an excellent reputation at the fringe with audiences and critics alike.

Based at Pleasance Islington, the company rehearses and performs regularly in London and its other home in Edinburgh. Currently Young Pleasance are operating our London Workshops and our Edinburgh Residential.




Young Pleasance London Ensemble


  • What is it? Young Pleasance London Ensemble's is a diverse, inclusive, innovative and socially responsible ensemble focusing on upskilling, devising and actor techniques. This dynamic ensemble exists to develop the voices of young artists.
  • Who is it for? Participants aged 16-25 interested in developing their acting and theatre making techniques.
  • What do you get? Weekly sessions are held on Monday evenings during term-time at Pleasance Islington. Led by professional theatre-makers with guest workshops by leading theatre companies, Young Pleasance London enables participants to hone and develop their acting skills and theatre techniques in a dynamic and creative environment. The sessions have a particular emphasis on performance making skills and focus on putting those skills into action multiple times throughout the term in small scale in-house company performances. 
  • Costs? There is a participantion fee of £150 for the term. Bursaries are available.
  • How to apply? We hope to resumme Young Pleasance London in 2021 and will update this page with more submission information as soon as it's available. 
  • Term will run for 12 weeks, on Monday evenings, with a half-term break.



Edinburgh Residential 

  • What is it? Each year Young Pleasance creates a company of young aspiring creatives (performers and nonperformers). 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 24 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's the show? In 2021 Young Pleasance will be 25 years young. This production will celebrate and mark this milestone, creating a new production around the theme of ‘forever young - the company that never grows up’.
  • What do you get? The Edinburgh Residential 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.
  •  How to apply: Applications for 2021 are closed. Submissions for Young Pleasance will open in Autumn 2021 for Ediburgh Festival Fringe 2022.

  • All places subsidised by The Pleasance!

Click here to see the Young Pleasance in action with A Grave Situation at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.

  • To find out more about the Residential, read our info pack here
  • Check out our audition poster
  • If you have any questions, contact [email protected]

To be eligible, you must be:

  1. Age 16-21 in August.
  2. Available for auditions/interviews early January.
  3. Available for rehearsals and performances in London and Edinburgh from approx 25 July to 22 August.
  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.



Watch a video testimonial from past members of the Young Pleasance to find out more about the experience.


Since 1995, the Young Pleasance has trained hundreds of performers, musicians and technicians who have gone on to further training and careers in the industry. Once involved in the company, the Pleasance continues to nurture an individual’s creative talent and ambition through our Pleasance Futures initiatives, including Young Pleasance Graduate Company - a programme specifically designed for Young Pleasance alumni. Find out more


Press highlights from previous productions

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  


Stay up to date with what we are doing

Like Young Pleasance on Facebook / Follow Young Pleasance on Twitter


PDF icon Young Pleasance Edinburgh Residential 2020 updates .pdf PDF icon YP Audition Poster 2020.pdf PDF icon Young Pleasance Safeguarding Policy and Health and Safety.pdf

Sign up to our artist newsletter