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Young performers take part in special festival of theatre

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 April 2016

West Acre Young People's Theatre taking part in the Connections Festival. Pictured in rehearsal at Norwich Playhouse.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

West Acre Young People's Theatre taking part in the Connections Festival. Pictured in rehearsal at Norwich Playhouse. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Young performers have been taking to the stage for a special festival of theatre.

Norwich School pupils are performing It Snows at The Garage for the National Theatre's Connections Festival. Photo: submitted.Norwich School pupils are performing It Snows at The Garage for the National Theatre's Connections Festival. Photo: submitted.

The National Theatre’s Connections festival gives youth theatres and schools the chance to perform new plays, and throughout this week groups from across the region are presenting their productions in Norwich at The Garage and Norwich Playhouse.

“Connections is unique, with new plays created especially by major writers for performance by youth companies,” said Norwich Playhouse director Caroline Richardson.

“There’s nothing else like it. We’ve been part of Connections for 11 years and it gets better each time.”

Adam Taylor, executive director at The Garage, added: “We feel really privileged to be able to host these local companies from around the region as part of the East region festival.

Today’s shows

The four shows taking place in Norwich today:

3pm – Gargantua by UROCK Youth Company at Norwich Playhouse

5pm – What Are They Like by St Ives Youth Theatre at The Garage

7pm – It Snows by The Garage Youth Theatre Company at Norwich Playhouse

8.30pm – Blackout by 20Twenty Academy at The Garage

Tickets for each performance cost £2.

To book tickets, visit www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk and www.thegarage.org.uk

For more information about the Connections festival, including how your group could take part in next year’s event, visit http://connections.nationaltheatre.org.uk/

“The calibre of performance so far this week is a testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication of the young people, and the adults supporting them on their creative journeys.”

Among the shows on stage yesterday was It Snows, a play by Bryony Lavery, Steven Hoggett and Scott Graham about breaking free from stereotypes and the patterns of our daily lives, which was presented by Norwich School at The Garage.

Production assistant Alice Rickett said: “It’s interesting to see how our interpretation of the play differs from other schools and fantastic that Norwich School is taking part again in the Connections festival.”

West Acre Young People’s Theatre yesterday presented The Musicians – a humorous play by Patrick Marber aimed at everyone who has ever played air guitar – at Norwich Playhouse.

West Acre Young People's Theatre taking part in the Connections Festival. Pictured in rehearsal at Norwich Playhouse.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWest Acre Young People's Theatre taking part in the Connections Festival. Pictured in rehearsal at Norwich Playhouse. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Also part of yesterday’s programme was Neale-Wade Acts performing What Are They Like at Norwich Playhouse and Greasepaint Youth Theatre Company performing Eclipse at The Garage.

Groups on stage in Norwich earlier in the week included Old Buckenham High School (performing Bassett), Fisher Youth Theatre Group (The Musicians), Slow Theatre Company (Blackout), Suffolk New College (It Snows) and Thomas Clarkson Academy (What Are They Like).

About 500 youth theatre companies are taking part in Connections this year at venues across the country.

Do you have a Norwich
arts story? Email arts correspondent emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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