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15th June 2018

It’s a time of high emotion and nerves for many teenagers across the country, as the dreaded GCSE and A-level exams are in full swing.



For a group of our talented students however, emotion and nerves come in an additional package this month, as they prepare for a prestigious showcase at The Royal National Theatre in London.

The group of 8 performers studying Drama and Theatre Studies at College have been selected to stage a new play at the National Theatre as part of its 2018 Connections Festival, which takes place on 26th – 30th June. 

The young and ambitious group first performed Want – by Barney Norris – back in the spring at The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath – one of the 28 Connections’ Partner Theatres situated across the country. After impressing the judges, the teens were overjoyed to discover they were one of the 10 companies who had made it through to the finals in London, where they will perform on Wednesday 27 June in the Dorfman Theatre.

Connections is the largest youth theatre festival in the UK, and celebrates new writing and emerging talent. Over 6,500 young people have taken part in Connections this year and have had the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of creating and staging the play both on and offstage from set design to costume, lighting and stage management.

Barney Norris’ Want is one of 10 new plays from emerging contemporary playwrights which were commissioned by Connections for young people across the country to stage and perform in a professional theatre. Barney Norris is known for his work that reaches out into forgotten rural communities and Want it no exception; a story of a constellation of young people and a series of charged, longing exchanges. 

It is not the first year we have taken part in the festival however. The College had success back in 2012 when students took on Rory Mullarkey’s The Grandfathers and won both the regional and national competitions; something this year’s performers aim to match!

Anne Mowbray, group leader and Theatre Studies Teacher said “I am so enormously proud of our company of young performers, technicians and directors.

The Connections Festival is a fantastic example of the power of the Creative Arts to transform young people’s lives, arming them with confidence, creativity, empathy and teamwork skills, all of which they will need for the future.”

You can book tickets to watch the talented young actors in action and show your support on Wednesday 27 June at 7pm. Visit