Posts Tagged ‘NT Connections’

What an extraordinary initiative NT Connections is. Ten brand new plays especially written by premiere league playwrights for 230 youth theatre companies, ten of which get to perform them at the NT; two on the Olivier stage! I caught the two that did just that and what a great experience it turned out to be.

Wigan’s Winstanley College performed Lucinda Coxon’s clever play What Are They Like? which turned things upside down by getting the kids to say what they are more used to hearing their parents say. It opened with an acapella song sung beautifully before the scenes weaved in and out as the kids rolled out every parental cliché in the book. Great stuff.

This was followed by London’s Jigsaw Youth Theatre with Jim Cartwright’s brilliant Mobile Phone Show. This was packed full of invention and performed with great enthusiasm and energy. We moved from the archetypal mobile sales situation to a deeply moving story of texting a dead mum to the trauma of a lost phone and much more. The audience was brought into the play when invited to call cast members and the cast came into the audience to engage directly with us. Full of energy, completely infectious and absolutely unmissable. This one has to have a life beyond this festival.

In his closing tribute, NT director Nicholas Hytner said that what he had seen compared very favourably with the Olivier’s more normal fare – stars on expensive sets doing plays by dead playwrights! How wonderful it is that this project reaches 25,000 young people all over Britain and ends up on the biggest National stage.

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