NT Connections 2021

NT Connections is back, in a new pandemic-friendly style!

This summer, four young companies will perform inspiring newly-commissioned plays in The Weston Studio, filmed by videographer Matt Greenwell. Each show will then be available to watch for free on our website from Tue 15 Jun. The companies have worked hard to continue rehearsals online throughout the lockdowns and we are excited to share what they have achieved! 

Connections is a national youth theatre festival, working with 300 youth theatre companies and over 6,000 young people from every corner of the UK. Each year the National Theatre commission 10 new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.

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Lavington School

A series of public apologies

by John Donnelly
Venue:
Watch at Home
Price:
Free (+Donations)

This satirical play is heightened in its naturalism, in its seriousness, in its parody and piercing in its interrogation of how our attempts to define ourselves in public are shaped by the fear of saying the wrong thing. 

Presented quite literally as a series of public apologies this play is spacious, flexible and welcoming of inventive and imaginative interpretation as each iteration spirals inevitably to its absurdist core.  This is a play on words, on convention, on manners, on institutions, on order, online and on point.

  • 7:30pm
    Captioned
Cheltenham Youth Theatre

Wind / Rush Generation(s)

by Mojisola Adebayo
Venue:
Watch at Home
Price:
Free (+Donations)
Duration:
45 mins

This is a play about the British Isles, its past and its present. In a senior common room a group of first-year undergraduates are troubled, not by the weight of their workload, but by a ‘noisy’ ghost. They decide to do what any group self-respecting and intelligent university students would do in such a situation – get out the Ouija Board, confront their spiritual irritant and lay them to rest – only to be confronted by the full weight of Britain’s colonial past – in all its gory glory.

If you think you know about British history, Empire, slavery, economics, racism and humanity, think again. As the planche on the Ouija Board skates from letter to letter at an ever-increasing breakneck speed, the students are catapulted through space and time, witnessing the injustices, incongruities and inhumanity of the past.

This is a smorgasbord of genres and styles. Fusing naturalism with physical theatre, spoken-word, absurdism, poetry and direct address – event-theatre that whips along with the grace, pace and hypnotic magnetism of a hurricane.

  • 7:30pm
    Captioned
Stagedoor Learning

The It

by Vivienne Franzmann
Venue:
Watch at Home
Price:
Free (+Donations)
Duration:
45 mins

She has something growing inside her. She doesn't know what it is, but she knows it's not a baby.

It expands in her body. It starts in her stomach, but quickly outgrows that, until eventually it takes over the entirety of her insides. It has claws. She feels them. Does it have teeth, skin, and hair as well, or are those feathers or spikes she can feel, butting up against her organs? What is it? It makes a noise, like a lizard or a snake. No one must know about it. She has to keep its presence, its possession of her, concealed. She cuts an isolated weird figure at school, trying to live her life normally but battling to keep The It inside of her.  She pulls away from her friends. She refuses to speak in case The It is heard. Then the It tries to escape from her body. She can't let that happen but she can't contain it forever.

  • 7:30pm
    Captioned
Cygnet Youth Theatre

The Marxist in Heaven

by Hattie Naylor
Venue:
Watch at Home
Price:
Free (+ Donations)
Duration:
45 mins

The Marxist in Heaven does exactly what its title says it’s going to do. The eponymous protagonist wakes up in paradise. Once they get over the shock of this fundamental contradiction of everything they believe in they...get straight back to work – to continue their lifelong struggle for equality and fairness for all…even in death.

Funny, playful, provocative, pertinent and jam-packed with discourse, disputes, deities and disco dancing by the bucketful, this upbeat allegory shines its holy light on globalisation and asks the salient questions – who are we and what are we doing to ourselves?...and what conditioner do you use on your hair?

  • 7:30pm
    Captioned