Earlier this month, Hertfordshire County Youth Theatre took to the stage of the National Theatre with its production of A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini.

Every year, ten of the country’s leading playwrights are each commissioned to write a one hour play for young people and the best of those submitted are selected to be performed at the prestigious national venue.

Since the original production of A Vampire Story at Watford Palace Theatre in March, director James Williams and the company worked hard on the play with NT staff director Roisin McBrinn and the writer.

Given the opportunity to sit in on the rehearsals, Moira was full of praise for James and the company. She said: “It was a great pleasure to work with them and the production team and such a talented young cast. It was great to see the actors respond to direction and develop the scenes and I was so surprised to hear how young most of them are. They have maturity beyond their years, both in the way they approached the text and in their behaviour as a company.”

Indeed, everyone in the cast was aged between 13 and 17 – much younger than most of the other companies represented at the National’s festival – with two of the leading roles, Eleanor and Frank, played by 13-year-old Grace Mansfield-Young and 14-year-old Ben Boskovic respectively.

Moira thanked members of the company for their hard work. She told them: “I think you all did the play tremendous justice. Thank you – and the best of luck with your next project.”

Rehearsals have just begun for the youth theatre’s next production, Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth by Tom Stoppard, which will be performed at Watford Palace Theatre at the end of October.