Theatre companies from the west London area will be performing a series of plays at the Bush Theatre in May as part of National Theatre Connections – a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people.
National Theatre Connections is one of the UK’s largest celebrations of youth theatre. Plays are commissioned for and about young people, from some of the best contemporary playwrights, and performed by schools and youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland.
In 2018, National Theatre Connections is working with up to 270 youth theatres and schools to stage 10 newly commissioned plays, adding to the 160 + plays the National Theatre have commissioned for young people since 1995.
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, said: “Connections is at the heart of the National Theatre’s work for young people and one of the most exciting and important projects we do. We think it’s vital that young people, wherever they are in the country and whatever their future path, have a chance to get involved in theatre.”
The performances at the Bush Theatre are;
2 May at 6pm, Twyford School will perform The Ceasefire Babies by Fiona Doyle. How do we form our allegiances and beliefs? Do we make our own decisions, or do we inherit them? Can a cycle of ideology and disagreement be broken? And who can take the first step?
The annual bonfire preparations are underway; Mikey’s coming home from the Centre and his sister Jamie cannot wait. But there is change in the air and not everyone’s ready for it. Jamie wants to reignite her father and uncle’s old conflicts, but Mikey and their friends must decide whether to take hold of their own destinies, or allow the ghosts of the past to dictate their futures.
2 May at 8pm, The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, Sutton will perform [BLANK] by Alice Birch (a co-commission with Clean Break), a play about adults and children impacted by the criminal justice system. [BLANK] is a series of 50 scenes – some of which may feel connected, others less so. It’s about what life is like when adults feel absent from it. But it can be about whatever you like – you can choose as many or as few scenes in order to construct your own narratives.
3 May at 6pm, Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea will perform The Changing Room by Chris Bush, a lyrical piece about existing on the cusp of growing up. Are we teenagers? Are we children? What are we? It’s about bodies in flux and perspectives shifting; knowing change is coming but not what that change will look like.
Set in and around a swimming pool, The Changing Room follows a group of teens full of excitement, impatience and uncertainty, each with their own secret worries and desires for what comes next.
3 May at 8pm, Extra Skills Academy will perform The Blue Electric Wind by Brad Birch. When people at school start forgetting things, Scott wonders if he’s the only one who’s noticed. He and some of the school’s misfits seem to be the only ones who can see what’s happening. Is it the weather? Is it a virus? They must join forces to try and work out what is causing everyone in town to lose all sense of who they are. The Blue Electric Wind is about why we remember what we do; it’s about bravery and about growing up.
4 May at 6pm, The Questors Theatre will perform The Changing Room by Chris Bush.
4 May at 8pm, Acton High School will perform [BLANK] by Alice Birch.
5 May at 4pm, Deafinitely Youth Theatre will perform These Bridges by Phoebe Éclair-Powell. When the Thames bursts its banks and submerges London, the north and the south of the city become separated. Myths abound about ‘the other side’ – is it really better? Four sets of teenagers ignore the risks of the treacherous crossing, to find out whether the other side is all it’s cracked up to be. The drowned commuters of the Circle Line conjure memories of the past. These Bridges looks at a fearful future and seeks to show that if we stick together, we may just survive it all.
5 May at 6.15pm, White City Youth Theatre will perform These Bridges by Phoebe Éclair-Powell.
5 May at 8.15pm, LOST Theatre Company will perform The Ceasefire Babies by Fiona Doyle.