Advice for the Young at Heart

by Roy Williams

2013 - 2014
Age advice: 14+

"A robust and poignant piece of theatre…. Roy Williams has created a script as sharp as the blades in the gang leaders’ pockets."

Victoria Dyson, A Younger Theatre

"It is so impressive. If I had my way it would be obligatory viewing for every secondary school in the country!"

Performing Arts Manager, Hill View School (Tonbridge)

Advice for the Young at Heart by Roy Williams was commissioned and produced by Theatre Centre, touring to secondary schools between September 2013 and February 2014.

It’s 2011 and 1958: London is rioting. Candice is ordered by her gang-leading boyfriend to lure Clint into a honeytrap. Haunted by her grandfather’s mistakes, she stands at a crossroads. Will she do as she’s told, or will she learn to be true to herself before history repeats itself?

The play examined the unrest of summer 2011 against the backdrop of the 1958 race riots in Notting Hill, exploring themes of race, family and misguided loyalty. 

Download the online version of the programme.

Learning resources

In addition to touring to 17 theatres around the country, the production reached thousands of young people in schools, PRUs and other education establishments.

Teachers can continue to access the Advice for the Young at Heart learning resources and lesson plans. These were originally created specifically to accompany the production, but may be adapted to suit the requirements of your learners.

To find out more about our current schools touring activity, and to book a Theatre Centre production into your school, please visit our Shows pages.


Candice: Alix Ross
Sam: Matt Bradley-Robinson
Clint: Adrian Richards
Kenny: Joe Stamp

The play toured between 12 September and 22 November 2013, and again with the same cast between 16 January and 14 February 2014.

Creative Team

Writer: Roy Williams
Director: Natalie Wilson
Designer: Emma Wee
Sound Designer/Composer: Helen Skiera
Lighting Designer: Charlie Lucas
Movement Director: Lucy Cullingford
Fight Directors: Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of RC-Annie Ltd
Dramaturg: Lin Coghlan
CSM: Bethan Mair-Hughes

Arts Award and Artsmark

Theatre Centre is an Arts Award Supporter organisation: our programme of work provides young people with opportunities to achieve objectives of the Explorer, Bronze, Silver or Gold Arts Award.

A Theatre Centre production is an opportunity for young people to review a piece of live performance. We can also offer Q&A sessions with actors after performances to allow young people the opportunity to find out about artists. Alongside our productions we also offer workshops (an additional fee applies).

If you work for a school that has achieved its Artsmark status, or is working towards this, we can help. Artsmark criteria state that at least one opportunity should be "provided for all students in every year group to work with or visit an arts organisation or artist... An opportunity could be a one-off workshop or visit". Contact us for more information.

Did you see this production? Let us know what you thought by leaving a comment below or contacting us

The play text is published by Methuen Drama. A copy is held in Theatre Centre's archive and by the British Library.

You can keep up to date with Theatre Centre's latest shows by joining our mailing list.

Poster image: Phillip Couzens for Theatre Centre
Production photography: Sarah London

User comments (47)

  • it was a good play

    Comment left by: Morgan Douglas - 06.03.2014 13:27

  • The play that I saw was fantastic - loves every bit of it. It was so emotional and it was kind of related to me. It had a good story line. Well done to the people who played it, there were some brilliant characters in the play.

    Comment left by: Danielle - 05.03.2014 09:30

  • Thanks for your lovely comments about the show. We're so glad you enjoyed it. The song played at the beginning during the movement sequence was composed by the show's sound designer Helen Skiera, it's an original composition. I hope that helps.

    Comment left by: Sarah @ Theatre Centre - 03.02.2014 15:58

  • Really, really well acted and such a good story as well. So cleverly written. Does anyone know what the song was in the very first scene with Candice and the guys in the red hoodies?
    Would love to see the play again.

    Comment left by: Amy - 03.02.2014 14:04

  • Saw this today, and thought it was great. Candice was particularly moving and the play was clearly so well thought out, everything had significance. It was very insighhtful to have the Q & A at the end, as its not often you get to talk to a group of professional actors. Congratulations to all involved and thank you for coming to Hastings

    Comment left by: Maya - 29.01.2014 18:01

  • This was a really good play I loved it and I would recommend it to anyone.

    Comment left by: Jack - 29.01.2014 16:10

  • It was an amazing play candice was very emotiional

    Comment left by: Chantelle - 21.01.2014 11:33

  • Thanks for your message Mika. The Director of the play, Natalie Wilson, has answered your question:

    The sign is based on one which the designer, Emma Wee, found and signifies that amongst the streets of contemporary London there are still signs/symbols from the past; that the “modern” lives side by side with the “past”. One Way Street also has some metaphorical significance in that the character of Candice can only see in one direction with one outcome at the beginning of the play and how by the end she can see an alternative pathway. What did it mean to you?

    Hope that helps.

    Comment left by: Sarah @ Theatre Centre - 20.01.2014 15:41

  • I saw this play the other day and thought it was brilliant.

    I was just wondering, is there any sort of meaning to the 'one way street' sign?

    Thanks x

    Comment left by: Mika - 18.01.2014 20:14

  • Hey, I absolutely loved the play. Brilliant plot and outstanding delivery. It was eye opening in so many ways and I enjoyed every second. So much so that I decided to see it again the very same day! Good job!

    Comment left by: Anon :) - 20.11.2013 23:10

  • I'm currently doing GCSE drama at William Farr and this play was used for me to do my written response on live theater! The play was absolutely brilliant, thoroughly enjoyed watching it and really took the audience on an emotional journey, well done!:)

    Comment left by: Becca - 20.11.2013 17:27

  • I watched it at school today and it was great. The cast where awesome and very, very good actors. It gave a good message and I enjoyed it. Thanks!

    Comment left by: Anonymous S - 18.11.2013 20:24

  • I watched this play and was amazed. It is really well choreographed with everything and it is really clever. I loved the cast, they were amazing and I'd love to become that good at acting some day. Thank you for giving me such a great show!

    Comment left by: Sophie - 13.11.2013 17:37

  • I had watched this play in one of the drama schools in Birmingham when I was there to run my drama workshops. The good thing about this play is that this play has a amazing plot that is easy to be understood by young people.

    The main thing that I am passionate about in this play is the fighting scene because it showed dramatic atmosphere to the audience and I hope that I could have a performance in the Novello Theatre that is going to be related to this play.

    Comment left by: youngactor - 12.11.2013 13:50

  • Just watched your show at my school (Cardinal Newman) - thought it was well sick. I didn't wanna see it because I thought it would be bare boring, but it was sick and Clint is piff. Haha. Well done

    Comment left by: Millie - 11.11.2013 15:17

  • A really amazing and touching performance! Really enjoyed it! oh and thanks for the Pen.

    Comment left by: Jonah - 09.11.2013 15:42

  • Today's cast from Theatre Centre came and performed 'Advice for the Young at Heart' at my school (Walthamstow Academy) and it was such a great play and i have never seen a real life play and I really enjoyed it . It was definitely worth missing second period and I really liked Candice's monologue at the end and I thought the role play was just great. And the actors were fantastic.

    Comment left by: Sainabou - 05.11.2013 19:01

  • Really enjoyed the show, brilliant script, great actors, the story line was so clever and the emotion was brilliant. Wish it was longer:( would love to watch it again

    Comment left by: Lauryn - 04.11.2013 20:20

  • Wow! This was such a great play, it was brilliantly written, acted and really moving! It had me on the edge of my seat all the way through and was an excellent way of targeting hard hitting issues like rape and racism. I also thought that the set and sound effects were really clever too, the whole thing was just amazing! I'd love to see it again, thanks for coming to our school! Xox :)

    Comment left by: Miss P - 04.11.2013 16:54

  • Amazing performance, it was emotional and so touching, thank you so much!

    Comment left by: Ellie - 31.10.2013 22:13

  • This performance touched me so much. I'm glad that I have to do my coursework on this as there is so much to write about. Thank you for coming to my school yesterday I loved it , I wanted Candice and Clint to get together so much though!!!

    Comment left by: abbey - 24.10.2013 20:08

  • Just WOW. Watched the show today in Kenton School. All I have to say is that you've touched my heart. The show is incredible. Amazing. Real. Educational. Moving. Refreshing. Emotional. And the actors were equally as amazing. Thank you for coming to my school.

    Comment left by: Tommi - 24.10.2013 17:55

  • Thanks for coming to Bradford and putting on a great performance all the actors and sound guy did a great job. Will definitely recommend you guys to others, cant wait to see you guys in bigger productions one day.
    Wish you all the success in future productions.

    Comment left by: Naveed - 23.10.2013 23:28

  • Thanks for the pen and the performance was awesome; absolutely amazing. Adrian was my favourite :D

    Comment left by: zee - 22.10.2013 19:36

  • Thanks for the pen, very good performance and my favourite actor was Adrian :)

    Comment left by: Steven - 22.10.2013 12:17

  • Thanks so much for the AMAZING performance! I luVed it!!! Very clever, very emotional, great play! Can't wait for my exam on it, going to be so much fun!!
    Very inspiring!!
    p.s. liking the silver pen, I named him Tom! :D

    Comment left by: Devon - 17.10.2013 15:51

  • We really loved the performance - fantastic acting and interesting and thought provoking topic....really loved the panel discussion following, at our showcase event - wonderful to see how much value people give to Drama and Theatre in education ...thanks Theatre Centre- all at QE Leicester

    Comment left by: Sharron - 16.10.2013 08:30

  • I really enjoyed this piece of theatre, it's the best I've seen! I thought the story was so clever, linking it back to the Notting Hill riots, and I can't wait to do this for our exam. Thank you so much!! (and the free pen was a bonus)

    Comment left by: Imogen - 15.10.2013 21:05

  • Thank you so much for responding to my question it was making my class go crazy trying to think up reasons for it :)

    Comment left by: she who shall not be named - 13.10.2013 12:46

  • I really loved this play and the cast were just amazing, they were like celebrities to me. I got a photo with them and I sat in their seats. It was amazing. Candice was my favourite. Very emotional.

    Comment left by: Sophie - 12.10.2013 14:12

  • I thought this play was great! Sam was so cute and I really enjoyed it because I have a thousand to two thousand word essay to write for the day after tomorrow. The info on the website really helped! :)

    Comment left by: Awesome Girl - 08.10.2013 18:30

  • 20 Friends and Family (aged from 19 to 61) went to see Advice for the Young at Heart at Greenwich Theatre on Thursday 3 October. Everyone of us thought it was brilliant. Going in and out from 1958 to 2011 was excellent. One hour went very quickly. We could not find fault with any of the play. The writer Roy Williams, the four Actors, Direction, lighting, sound, costume and set get 10 OUT of 10!!!!!!!
    Well Done to Theatre Centre and every one involved.

    Comment left by: Bridget - 08.10.2013 16:55

  • Thanks everyone for your comments, it's great to hear from you. We noticed the question below about the connection between the blue shoes Candice wears and Sam's shoes, so we put it to the costume designer Emma Wee. Here's what she came back with:

    There is definitely a connection between the shoes - well spotted! The blue was a colour that was particular to the 50's and I wanted it to carry across the two time periods. The suitcase that Candice leaves with is the same blue and is also the suitcase that Sam left London with.

    Comment left by: Alan @ Theatre Centre - 08.10.2013 15:34

  • Nice.

    Comment left by: Bob - 08.10.2013 11:00

  • Amazing play I wish I can see it again please come back to my school to play another play thanks and I loved the silver pen

    Comment left by: (cant tell) - 07.10.2013 15:31

  • I really enjoyed the performance and the contrast of both the race riots and the riots in the summer of 2011. And how it showed the innocence of the people involved and how sometimes we do not think before we act and Candice is a perfect example of this and how you can turn things around. I really liked the use of physical theatre at the start to symbolize Candice being abused and I really liked how she so still and almost trapped inside herself. Overall I thought it was fantastic thank you very much
    P.S thank you for the pen

    Comment left by: Anonymous T - 06.10.2013 19:56


    Comment left by: SOPHIE - 04.10.2013 18:50

  • I really enjoyed this performance that I saw today at school. the topics they portrayed were very relevant to this era and I believe they always will be, the actors were extremely skilled and so was whoever designed the costume set and the guy who controlled the sound and lighting.

    the themes of the play really made me think and I was wondering: is there a connection between Candice and sam both wearing blue shoes?

    the free pen was also a bonus!!!!!! :)

    Comment left by: She who shall not be named - 04.10.2013 18:24

  • i really enjoyed it

    Comment left by: azal - 04.10.2013 10:56

  • It was a really good play and the characters where amazingly played. I would love to see again and I loved the question and answer session. thank you for the experience and the free pen.

    Comment left by: kelsey - 04.10.2013 10:54

  • I recently watched 'Advice for the young at heart'
    and it was truly amazing. :)
    Thank you so much for that meaningful performance

    Comment left by: Rosie - 29.09.2013 14:21

  • I loved this performance today at my school it was very hard not to cry at some parts but also hard not to laugh too loud. Thank you so much for a great performance.

    Comment left by: Jamie - 20.09.2013 19:18

  • Today we saw 'Advice for the Young at Heart' which literally was amazing.
    It must have been the way the actors acted because i really got intrigued. The moral message that it has given out to the watchers was really interesting as some scenes I still remember. I must say it was one of my first live drama pieces I've seen so far. And this is going to be my favorite one. Thank you to Roy Williams for the amazing script and scenario. I've really enjoyed every bit of it and thanks for coming in today:)

    Comment left by: Muz - 20.09.2013 17:05

  • Today this was played at my school and I must right a review for it shortly, but I must say..

    The cast and play was fantastic. I enjoyed every part of it and because of the great cast that played, my school got to see what a real piece of drama looks like, and it definitely looked good, I have not seen any plays and things before really, but this particular one had got me interested. The scenes were so moving and I'd like to thank Roy Williams, the cast and everyone else who was responsible for the play and coming to my school and presenting their well written play. It was an hour worth spent and I, once again, enjoyed every single part of it.


    Comment left by: Anonymous K - 20.09.2013 16:15

  • i really enjoyed watching Advice for the young at heart today at my school!
    thanks for the pen ;D

    Comment left by: Ella - 18.09.2013 20:18

  • Thanks Ash. See you there!

    Comment left by: Sarah @ Theatre Centre - 06.03.2013 12:11

  • Good luck with 'Advice for the young at heart' really looking forward to seeing it.

    Comment left by: Ash Sohoye - 01.03.2013 12:07

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