The Jesters Youth Company is The Court Theatre’s new youth initiative. Launched at the beginning of 2021, the programme is led by Court Jester, Millie Hanford, as their lead tutor. Currently the group is made up of 20 talented young improvisors who have been training with the best of the best in professional improvisation. Meeting for a weekly workshop, they have been taught and encouraged by industry professionals to push their own boundaries, explore the latest improvisation techniques, and be the best young improvisers of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

The Jesters Youth Company, currently in its freshman year, was launched to give young improvisers a place to learn, play and find their unique voice and style. The goal was to provide nurturing environment that would allow young improvisers the space to explore their own vulnerabilities as they prepare for life in a professional company. 

Now ready to share their talent with the people of Ōtautahi Christchurch, The Jesters Youth Company’s debut show, Past Our Bedtime, kicks off on Friday 30 July at 8pm, with a second show scheduled for October 2021.

Recommended for young adults aged 14+, Past Our Bedtime promises to be a hilarious improv show designed by young adults for young adults. The concept was inspired by their adult counterpart, The Court Jesters who are best known for their weekly late-night comedy show, Scared Scriptless. As an additional treat for Past Our Bedtime attendees, Scared Scriptless is scheduled to follow the show at 10pm.

“Past Our Bedtime is all about celebrating our young improvisers and showcasing their fresh perspectives and humour. It's an opportunity for audiences in Ōtautahi Christchurch to be exposed to the younger generation uncut and uncensored.” says Millie Hanford.  

In Past Our Bedtime, the cast improvise hilarious sketches on the spot, inspired by audience suggestions – a formula perfected by Aotearoa’s longest running theatre show, Scared Scriptless.

“This won't be your usual improvisation show - you'll be taken on a whirlwind of different formats and leave wondering, ‘Is there anything they CAN’T do?!’” adds Hanford.

Past Our Bedtime debuts at The Court Theatre on Friday 30 July 2021 at 8pm.