The National Theatre Connections Festival is a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts. Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow. Every year, 300 youth theatre companies and over 6,000 young people from every corner of the UK produce a Connections play.
As a partner theatre, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch are thrilled to be welcoming three companies over two days to present their work.
Chat Back by David Judge
performed by Shenfield High School (5 April) and Passmores Academy (6 April)
Chat back is about the underclass – all those young people who are so ‘bad’, disempowered, alienated, ostracized, and abandoned – that even on the last day of school they still find themselves in detention. We watch a snapshot of the lives of each individual (across a summer holiday of Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday mornings) as they negotiate their way around the obstacles on route to discovering their identity, their economic power or lack of, their lyrical dexterity or lack of, and the meaning of in their lives, revealed through their desires, hopes and fears. The words in this play come thick and fast, in rhythm and rhyme, delivered like a paintball machine gun painting a multi-coloured landscape from a palette that is bleak, honest, raw, exciting, energised and unwavering in its intention to talk truth to power.
Recommended for ages 15+
Content warning: one reference to suicide, strong language
Variations by Katie Hims
performed by Ormiston Rivers Academy (6 April)
Thirteen-year-old Alice wishes her life was completely different. She wakes up one morning to find that her life is different. In fact, it’s so different that all she wants to do is get back to normality. But how does she do that?
A play about family, string theory and breakfast.
Recommended for ages 13+
The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America.
Connections is supported by the Mohn Westlake Foundation, Buffini Chao Foundation, The Hearn Foundation, The Broughton Family Charitable Trust, The Peter Cundill Foundation, CHK Foundation, The EBM Charitable Trust, The Golsoncott Foundation, Henry Oldfield Trust, The John Thaw Foundation, Katie Bradford Arts Trust, Susan Miller and Byron Grote, Mulberry Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.
*(+65p QNext Fee)