It began in 2011, when Jo Myers (EYT co-founder) first met Chris Davidson (EYT co-Artistic Director) while he was performing the role of Jean Valjean in Norfolk Youth Music Theatre’s production. Acting in it was one thing, but Chris was determined to one day direct it.

Later, during EYT’s 2019 Hairspray, he and Dan Rayner (EYT co-founder and co-Artistic Director) started properly warming up the idea. “It’s a brilliant show”, says Dan, “with great characters, a challenging score, the well-known storyline, and great opportunities to offer our members. Much to our disappointment, the rights weren’t available at that time”.

Finally, in 2022, Music Theatre International announced the rights had become available for schools and youth groups. ”We’ve always said that doing a ‘junior’ version of a musical wouldn’t appeal to our members”, Dan continues, “but Chris looked at the libretto for the school edition and there wasn’t a noticeable difference to the original version. It was an easy decision amongst the team – apply for the rights!”

Which we did, and we got them! Time to start planning.