by Jez Bond

Some twelve or so years ago I worked for a company called Y Touring, who were then based on Lennox Road in Finsbury Park (directly opposite Pooles Park Primary School). It was my first introduction to the area and having spent time in N4 then and now later having returned I had insight into the changes that had taken place - and was able to create a fair forecast of how Finsbury Park might look and 'feel' in a further few years, given significant regeneration that is taking place.

It was then with great excitement that I went to the Royal Albert Hall tonight, to watch Y Touring's latest production. Not in the main hall itself, but in a beatiful side room - one that seated 120 people I should add! - called the Elgar Room. The production which has parked in London for a short time in the middle of a UK schools tour, concerned genetics and screening with particular reference to cancer.

Y Touring were the company who really turned Theatre in Education (or T.I.E. as it is known) on its head - confidently creating theatre where the starting point was artistic excellence and then came the issues, rather than the other way round. As such they continue to produce engaging drama for all ages. Furthermore Nigel Townsend, the Creative Director, is always at the forefront of digital technology, finding new and exciting ways to engage with their younger audiences. Y Touring is really everything that's great about theatre - strong drama, engaging style and dealing with important issues. It is amazing to remember that for many kids this will be their first experience of theatre - what a wonderful thing!

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