Battle of Lewes to inspire spectacular show by Lewes Youth Theatre

Lewes Castle
Lewes Castle

Hordes of young people will be going into action as part of this year’s events to mark the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes.

The innovative Lewes Youth Theatre has been awarded £40,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the spectacular Prepare for Battle at 750 activities scheduled to take place on May 16, 17 and 18.

Inspired by their ground- breaking project in 2012 (The Battle of Lewes Experience in 4D) which received an incredible amount of public engagement and participation, Prepare for Battle at 750 is a project devised by young people for young people.

The momentous clash between the armies of Simon de Montfort and King Henry III resulted in the birth of democracy in England.

Upon securing the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Young Roots Bid, Lewes Youth Theatre has now masterminded a bigger and better project which will raise the awareness of the Battle of Lewes and it’s link to democracy amongst the young people in and around the county town, as well as producing a finale event that will reach thousands and “shake Lewes to its very foundations”.

Lewes Youth Theatre, in partnership with Sussex Archaeological Society and Sussex Downs College, plans a medieval camp where more than 200 young people will live in 13th century conditions.

Politicians from all viewpoints will get the chance to explain why democracy is important and also why they should vote for them in a mock election which will reveal the current youth opinion on democracy and politics today.

All young people in the area are invited to take part in the project and shape the breath-taking, state of the art projections and medieval-driven festivities that will be witnessed by thousands and also shown in the New York Film Festival next year.

Commenting on the award, Phil Rhodes from Lewes Youth Theatre said: “Young people from LYT have worked tirelessly for more than 16 months to realise their vision.

“This project is truly deserving of every penny of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant and is set to place the Battle of Lewes and the democracy of then and now firmly in their hearts and open a long overdue dialogue among young people.”

One of the youth team leaders, Curtis Arnold-Harmer, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to head up such a huge project which will educate and inform young people on politics and democracy in an engaging way.”

If you would like to take part in the project or to find out more, visit