Youth East Surrey Performing Arts


Our team is lead by a professional director, music director and choreographer, and assisted by other experienced and talented members of ESPA. Our shows and workshops are also aided in production by West End and industry professionals from diverse fields such as theatre, dance, puppetry, opera, magic and illusion, stage combat and circus skills.

During the year we run a series of Weekend Workshops which teach a range of performing arts skills from acting to dancing to music and much more. Our Summer Production is a fully staged musical rehearsed and performed during the school summer term and summer holiday. Our performers receive over 60 hours of intensive musical theatre training and perform at the 400 seat Harlequin Theatre, Redhill. This year, 2024, we shall perform at Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead RH19 3BS, whilst the Harlequin undergoes repairs. The capacity there is 340 seats. Productions are also aided by professionals in the field of sound, lighting design, stage management, and a professional orchestra to ensure our young performers get the highest possible standard of life in the theatre.

Many of YESPA's alumni, as well as current members, have gone on to work as singers, dancers, actors, directors, and musicians in West End shows, including Les Misérables, Wicked, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and School of Rock, national touring productions, on television and radio, and performed as members of the National Youth Theatre.

Click here to visit the YESPA website.

Our History

Whenever possible, young people are invited to perform alongside adults in main ESPA productions, and in 2004 an initiative was developed to create performance opportunities solely for children and young adults. And so began YESOS with a production of Stiles and Drewe's Honk!. In 2014 YESOS celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which included the company's first relaxed performance matinee, adapted for disabled audiences and people with Autism Spectrum disorders. In 2018 YESOS staged their production of The Phantom of the Opera in honour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 70th birthday celebrations.

2019 saw a year of change and YESOS officially became Youth East Surrey Performing Arts. (YESPA)

YESPA emerged from the Covid period with a highly acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof in 2021, followed by a NODA award-winning production of The Addams Family, which won best youth production in the East of the South East region for 2022.

2023 welcomed a new generation of performers as our older seasoned performers out-grew us, and moved on.  This opened up opportunities for younger cast members to join in which they quickly snapped up! YESPA's cast of Wind in the Willows featured no fewer than 61 young performers.

As we enter our 2024 season, we are thrilled to celebrate our 20th Anniversary year with a an exciting, raucous contemporary show choice - School of Rock!

The YESPA Ethos

YESPA was created with the aim to inspire young performers and potential future professionals about life in the theatre, to aid and develop personal and creative skills, and to work and socialise with other young people in a fun and hard working environment. It is this ethos of creativity, fun, and hard work that drives the company forward.

Our young performers are given the confidence to interact, work with, and perform to their peers, all the while striving towards the highest possible performance standards.