National Theatre Connections is a national youth drama scheme, which each year 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.
260 youth theatre companies and over 5,000 young people from every corner of the UK took part in 2018.
With support from The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, members of the Kings Youth Theatre ‘Kings Company’ performed The Blue Electric Wind by Brad Birch, directed by Nathalie Gunn (KYT Youth Theatre Co-ordinator). It was performed at our home venue (the Kings Theatre) in April 2018, and the regional venue, the Chichester Festival Theatre’s Minerva in May 2018.
A leading UK theatre director saw each Youth Theatre’s home performance and feedback prior to their regional performance.
“This production felt really professional, with really clear storytelling and sensitive characterisation as well as a strong grasp of the comedic potential of the play… Across the company, the commitment and depth characters were created with was really rich. There were real clarity and boldness in character choices, particularly in the central group of adventurers.” Nathan Crossan-Smith director for Graeae Theatre Company and Hydrocracker Theatre.
Paige Brooker who played Leigh said: “The National Theatre Connections has helped me develop my skills as an Actor and shown me new things, such as new performing spaces and how to adapt to these spaces. I feel I have developed a new understanding of some characters and myself through this project.” Crossan-Smith noted that “Brooker’s commitment to Leigh’s fading/blanking was intriguing and engaging to watch. Her work was sustained and didn’t pull focus but was really detailed and convincing.”
This year The Kings Company performed Salt by Dawn King, with their home performance taking place at The Kings Theatre on February 19th & 20th, followed by a regional transfer to The Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis on April 4th.
The Kings Company members took part in National Theatre Connections this year with kind support from Blue Spark Foundation.