BRAVE is the new Youth Theatre offer from The Place Bedford

BRAVE meets weekly during term times to develop the skills of creative young people, tell stories, and make new friends.

Sessions will cover all kinds of storytelling from stage to screen, inside performance spaces to outdoor performance, and for audiences of 1 to crowds of 100s.

You don’t have to be experienced, you just need to be interested and excited about developing your skills as a performer, director, designer, technician, writer… and if you want to bring your own creative skills to the mix with other creative young people, BRAVE could be just what you’re looking for.

There’s a termly membership fee, but it’s priced at less than many other youth groups, and there are big reductions for people on low or no income.

Is this you? We hope so.

This is your chance to come and play at The Place.

Activity Details & Timetable

BRAVE is structured into 4 age groups:

Tuesday Evenings

Group 1 (Yrs 3&4) – 4:45pm – 5:30pm

Group 2 (Yrs 5&6) – 5:45pm – 6:45pm

Thursday Evenings

Group 1 (Yrs 3&4) – 4:45pm – 5:30pm

Group 2 (Yrs 5&6) – 5:45pm – 6:45pm

Group 3 (Yrs 7-9) – 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Saturday afternoons 

Group 3 (Yrs 7-9) – 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Group 4 (Yrs 10&11) – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Each term runs for 10 weeks, with a break during Half Term. 

We now run a choice of groups for young people – allowing guardians & young people to choose which day is best for their schedules.

In addition to the scheduled weekly sessions The Place Bedford offers additional workshops and activities to participants during the holidays.

A full timetable of term session dates is available to download below. This will be updated each term to include details of optional extra activities as they are finalised.

Taster Session

Each Summer we offer a number of Taster Sessions for BRAVE. These allow new & old participants to come along and experience the type of activities that we will be running weekly. It’s a great opportunity to work out if we fit with your child’s needs.

Outside of the summer, we do allow in-term taster sessions for new starters, with new term & half term intake.

BRAVE Taster Sessions 23/24 cohort:

Saturday, July 22nd, 2023
1:00 – 2:00pm [Start Yrs 3&4, Sept 2023]
2:00 – 3:00pm [Start Yrs 5&6, Sept 2023]
3:30 – 4:30pm [Start Yrs 7-9, Sept 2023]
4:30 – 5:30pm [Start Yrs 10&11, Sept 2023]

Saturday, August 12th, 2023
1:00 – 2:00pm [Start Yrs 3&4, Sept 2023]
2:00 – 3:00pm [Start Yrs 5&6, Sept 2023]
3:30 – 4:30pm [Start Yrs 7-9, Sept 2023]
4:30 – 5:30pm [Start Yrs 10&11, Sept 2023]

Monday, September 4th, 2023 
1:00 – 2:00pm [Start Yrs 3&4, Sept 2023]
2:00 – 3:00pm [Start Yrs 5&6, Sept 2023]
3:30 – 4:30pm [Start Yrs 7-9, Sept 2023]
4:30 – 5:30pm [Start Yrs 10&11, Sept 2023]


N.B. Participants are only required to attend one Audition date. You can attend more than one if you would like.

My child already attends BRAVE, do they need to attend a Taster Session?

Each of our groups operates at a limited capacity to ensure that all participants get a chance to shine during the sessions. Our spaces aren’t huge and we believe in a more focussed approach to development. Alongside this, these sessions give us a chance to see what skills and strengths they will be bringing to the group before we start our journey with them. Young people grow up quickly across the summer – so we recommend all young people attend (even if they are already known to us)

We treat each year as its own structured development, so having annual summer recruitments allows a natural break for participants and families. We understand that young people’s skills and interests develop with them, and a natural breakpoint between activities allows all participants to choose to move on when they feel it is right for them, by placing that transition as part of a whole group rite of passage.


BRAVE operates on a flexible fee structure. We believe that Youth Theatre activities should be available to everyone regardless of household income or personal circumstance.

All participants receive the same standard of experience and participate at the same level, regardless of fee paid.

  • OPTION A = £100 a term (Full Fee)
  • OPTION B = £50 a term (Reduced Fee for participants on a low income)
  • OPTION C = £25 a term (Reduced Fee for participants on a lower income)
  • BURSARY = £0 a term (Bursary placements for participants on no income)

NB: ‘Participants’ refers to members and their families/care givers.

Reduced Fee placements are available to all & each term we ask the guardians of new participants to arrange a short conversation with our team to discuss fees & to make sure that we are able to best support your young person throughout their time with us. Supporting your child means getting to know you and your needs to the best of our ability.

Fee payments

Generally fee payments will be taken termly at the beginning of each term, or in 2 instalments billed at the start & middle of each term.

Each term we allow guardians to reselect their payment level, based on changes to household income level.

Perks and Benefits to being Brave

All Groups will have a scheduled visit to a performance at The Place at least once a year, at no additional cost to participants.

Ideally these visits will take place within the normal run of sessions, and where possible at similar times. Where necessary we may have to arrange a trip for another day to the regular sessions, but we will always make sure these visits are during the regular session weeks, never during the holiday periods.

All Participants will be offered a discount on tickets to shows at The Place Bedford.

Alongside this, for older participants student standby tickets are also available, allowing them to see shows for only £1, if they wait until the last minute.

Why do we offer these things?

We believe that one of the best ways of growing as creatives is through experiencing new work, especially live and in person. The experience of watching a live show can unlock new ways of thinking and creating in all people.

Why Brave (what's in a name)?

Q: Why did you choose the name?

Naming things is difficult, especially before we really know what they’re going to be. We were tempted to just name it what it is: The Place Bedford Youth Theatre, but that didn’t sound very interesting or fun. Everyone else has already stolen all of the theatre-based puns, and we wanted something that stood out from all the other ‘Stages’ and ‘Academies’. 

Ultimately, we wanted a temporary name, so that over time the participants themselves might be encouraged to help us come up with something that really captures the experience. So we settled on an idea – “what is it we want participants to be?”

We know that for many young people getting involved in performance and creative activities is a huge boost for confidence, building social skills, creative problem solving & learning to face the fears of public speaking. That’s exactly what we want from all of our participants: ‘possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance’ – that might mean doing something new for the first time, learning new skills, or pushing themselves to take on leadership challenges. So that’s our ethos, and we thought the name BRAVE might capture that.

Q: Why does this end at 16+? What about options for Older Teenagers?

Great question. This is definitely in our plans for the future, and we’re excited to start working on those opportunities once we’ve started BRAVE. Fundamentally, we believe that a Youth Theatre project for 16-18yr olds needs to achieve 2 things: a) it has to come out of the needs and interests of the young participants themselves – bringing them into the whole decision making process from start to finish; b) it has to feed into post-education activities, whilst taking into account the wide variety of post-18 options for young people in Bedford. We want to build an offer that works for young people 16-22, wherever they are in their educational journey. 

We know that the period 16-22 can be a very difficult time for young people with many different pressures on them. We don’t feel it’s fair to try to jumpstart a scheme for them at the same time as we’re launching everything else. 

Also, as a community theatre we know that many of the local community performance groups are always keen to welcome young performers into their ranks. The opportunities to get involved in shows run all year round, with regular offers from all of the groups working across Bedfordshire. We’d always recommend 16-22 yr olds reaching out to talk to the community groups about opportunities.