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"A giant of a man, with a giant heart to match."

Andrew Harries

In Memoriam

1964 - 2022


Andrew became the Artistic Director of Young Actors Theatre Islington (YATI) in 2004 and remained so until his death in February 2022. In that time roughly 6,000 local young people became members and thousands more attended short-term courses under Andrew, many of whom credit him directly for transforming their self-confidence.

Andrew always saw YATI’s raison d’etre as creating a future for children of the surrounding neighbourhood. Such is the strength of community that Andrew built at YATI that many staff are former ‘members’, supporting the next generation of Islington’s children to have a better and brighter future.


Through its successful agency and excellence in teaching under Andrew’s guidance, YATI played an important role in the development of industry professionals such as Academy award winner Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Asa Butterfield (Sex Education), Franz Drameh (Legends of Tomorrow), Ella Purnell (Army of the Dead), and Obioma Ugoala (Frozen The Musical).


Around 6 years ago, Andrew very kindly took me on as an Freelance lighting designer and I worked with him on a number of different shows at YATI. Thanks to his belief in me I am now working alongside some of the worlds largest brands, designing shows across the world. The work that YATI does for young people, in my opinion, is some of the most important work any institution in London (or the UK) does. Being exposed at a young age to theatre, art and culture is the bed rock of my abilities and interest in the work I do and Andrew played a massive part in giving me the confidence to go on and be successful. When I heard about his passing I can honestly say my heart sank to the bottom of my chest, he was a great man I’m truly sorry to hear he is no longer with us. I wish the entire team at YATI the very best of luck for the future!


Andrew was such an important person in my life. I loved the Acting Foundation course at YATI. Andrew was great fun, smiley and made me laugh. He made everything fun. He was so supportive and gave me confidence. When I think of him, I always see him smiling.


Andrew, you were one of the very best that I have ever had the privilege of working with and working for. As a director, teacher, collaborator and Artistic Director you worked with huge integrity, parity, imagination, courage and style. YATI has been delivering EXCELLENT training for so many years; the Foundation course remains way ahead of its competitors. You taught acting skills so very, very well. As a person, colleague and friend you were always resourceful, kind, honest, funny, compassionate and loyal. Today some of us were at your funeral; beautiful, poignant and honouring to you. Thank you for championing so much in so many - students and staff alike. Thank you for the indelible memories in my heart.
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