Local Theatre group bound for National Theatre!

Posted on: 15th June 2012

Local Theatre group bound for National Theatre!

The National Theatre visited The Playhouse this week to announce to announce that a local theatre group will be performing in the National Theatre for this year's NT Connections Festival, an annual festival of new plays for young performers.

The Theatre has also opened the application procedure for it 2013 Connections Festival and are particularly keen to include participants from the Northern Ireland area before applications close on 1 July.

The Connections Festival is the culmination of the National Theatre's year-long, nationwide festival of new writing for young performers. Each year the National Theatre asks ten exciting writers to create new plays which are performed by young people aged 13 - 19 all over the country, with ten companies being invited to perform their productions at the NT.

This year local Youth Theatre group More Pies Productions, who brought their production of ‘Journey to X' to The Playhouse in February, are among those selected to perform at the prestigious theatre.

Headed by Steven Wakeley, the play by Dublin playwright Nancy Harris was a great success and ran for two nights at The Playhouse. And now the local young rising stars will perform the play in the Cottesloe Theatre (one of National Theatre's three prestigious auditoriums) on Friday 22 June.

Playwright Nancy Harris and Anthony Banks, Associate Director National Theatre Learning visited The Playhouse on Wednesday June 13 to announce the news and to call for new applications for next year.

Playwrights selected for 2013 are Howard Brenton, Jim Cartwright, Lucinda Coxon, Ryan Craig, Jonathan Harvey, Lenny Henry, Jemma Kennedy, Morna Pearson, and Anya Reiss.

"The play is one of ten commissioned and performed across the UK by 180 youth theatres. And now we are one of ten companies selected to bring their productions to the NT" Director Steven Wakeley said.

"Many theatre companies dream of performing on a stage in such an esteemed theatre, and as a brand new theatre company we are just delighted to have the support to make this happen".

Niall McCaughan at The Playhouse said: "This has been such an exciting project for this fabulous new youth group . We're also delighted to welcome The National Theatre's visit to The Playhouse! We are always keen to forge and maintain links with not just UK theatres, but also with their education programmes. The National Theatre Connection's important work in supporting new writing and young theatre making is compliments in so many ways the many mission and ethos at The Playhouse."

Anthony Banks of National Theatre said: "In 2013 the National Theatre is 50 years old: the repertoire is increasingly diverse and unexpected, with a keen and provocative eye on the future of theatre in which the imaginations of young theatre makers are crucial. During this special birthday year, Connections will ensure those young theatre makers are at the heart of the party: they have an irresistible opportunity to seize these ten exciting new plays and make them burst into life."

Further information on the application procedure and this year's Festival can be found at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/connections.

NT Connections

(L-R) Cast members David Doherty, Aine Harkin (On the floor), Steven Graydon, Mark Oakley, Damien Coyle, Nicole Doherty, Joseph Wells, Rhianna McPartland (Seated) , Niall McCaughan, The Playhouse, Shane Darrall, Brogan Wakeley, Dillon Donaghy, Director Steve Wakeley, Emer Doherty, Playwright Nancy Harris & Anthony Banks, National Theatre, (Standing)

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