Connections is the National Theatre’s nationwide youth Theatre Festival. Each year it offers a unique opportunity for youth theatres and school drama groups to stage new plays written for young people by some of theatre’s most exciting playwrights, and to perform them in leading theatres across the UK.
6 new plays will be performed over 3 days.
THU 23 MARCH, DOUBLE BILL
Zero for the young dudes!
By Alistair McDowall
Performed by Octagon Connect
The inmates at a bizarre summer camp are plotting a revolution. Or has it already happened?
Spending a day watching their schedule of exercise, lessons and meals, a long history of unrest and injustice lies hidden. As the day wears on, a violent future looms large on the horizon.
By Robin French
Performed by Range High School
In the summer of Year Ten, Alex Stokes takes the fateful step of buying an electric guitar and forming his own rock group.
He teams up with a mysterious young singer by the name of Joel Lawrence. What follows could well be the most incredible saga in the school’s musical history. The band survives different line-ups, impossible love affairs and brutal school politics. By Year Thirteen, they are a tightly knit four-piece, and their final gig is nothing short of remarkable – but have individual members paid too high a price?
7.30pm Main Auditorium / Tickets £6 (£4 concession) / Age guide 15+
Strong language, sexual content and discussion of adult themes including suicide and torture.
FRI 24 MARCH, DOUBLE BILL
By Kellie Smith
Performed by Story Makers
In a cold village on the edge of nowhere, a disease has broken out, infecting the young and transforming them into monstrous creatures. The villagers fearfully watch their children for symptoms of the disease, whilst the Mayor has adopted tough measures for dealing with those who are infected. When Bolek, the local scholar, makes a breakthrough in finding a cure, few are prepared for the gruesome nature of the treatment. But with his own daughter showing signs of infection, there is no other choice to stop this terrible disease dead in its tracks.
A gothic melodrama about the terrifying onset of adolescence.
THE SNOW DRAGONS
By Lizzie Nunnery
Performed by Ripley St Thomas CE Academy youth Theatre
Raggi and her friends spend their free time in the woods and mountains around their sleepy town playing games of Vikings, dragons and war.
When soldiers occupy the town, they watch from their hut in the mountains: their friends and families beaten, silenced, abducted... Let down by the adult world they form The Snow Dragons, ‘the last line of resistance’ carrying out sabotage missions. But this is no game, and true courage requires great sacrifice.
7.30pm Main Auditorium / Tickets £6 (£4 concession) / Age guide 13+
SAT 25 MARCH, DOUBLE BILL
THE SCHOOL FILm
By Patrick Marber
Performed by Fred Longworth High School
“WHAT ARE GREAT EXPECTATIONS?”
“IT MEANS HE’S GOING TO BE RICH. AND A GENTLEMAN”
The whole school assembles in the hall to watch ‘the school film’ which turns out to be an old British classic from the 1940s, in black and white no less. As the young viewers absorb the adventures of the characters in the old story they begin to discover what their own expectations might be.
By Matthew Bulgo
Performed by Winstanley College
“HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH... THAT... WITH THE IDEA OF... WHEN I HAVEN’T DEALT WITH LIFE YET?!”
It’s A-level results day and Jack has it all laid out in front of him. After a summer of love and laughter with his mates, he’s off to university. He can’t wait for ‘Freshers’ Week’ and all the adventures that will follow. Life is just beginning and it couldn’t be better. But when Jack gets blind-sided by a revelation about his health, he gets propelled into an adult world before he’s had a chance to enjoy his youth.
Will Jack be able to become an adult in time to save himself?
7.30pm Main Auditorium / Tickets £6 (£4 concession) / Age guide 14+