Get connected at Derby Theatre

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Derby Theatre and The National Theatre will present Connections Festival at Derby Theatre from April 30-May 3.

Derby Theatre is once again very excited to be the East Midlands host venue for the National Theatre’s Connections Festival, a festival for young people aged 11 – 25 of new writing, performance, workshops, plus much more.

Each year, the National Theatre asks ten writers to create new plays for performance by young theatre companies all over the country. From Inverness to Cornwall, and Belfast to Norfolk, Connections celebrates great new writing for the stage, as well as the energy, commitment and talent of young theatre-makers.

Derby Theatre will welcome ten young companies from the region to perform on the main stage.

The venue will be full over the four days with youth theatre groups and open to young people from across the region to get involved, all with a passion for theatre and the arts.

But that’s not all; over the four days, Derby Theatre will become a vibrant artistic hub for young people.

On offer will be the chance for young people to see their peers perform, participate in a wide range of exciting workshops led by leading creative professionals – including ones in puppetry, TV acting, stage combat, Shakespeare, costume and devising – take part in mini performances, compete in a family fun quiz, play game on the grass, chill out with their friends (and make new ones) plus much more.

Thursday and Friday will mainly consist of a wide variety of workshops. On Saturday and Sunday there will be more exciting workshops plus performances by youth theatre companies from the region.

This year’s plays and their authors are: Drama Baby by Jamie Brittain, who created the teenage drama Skins for Channel 4; Hospital Food by Eugene O’ Hare, who has written extensively for theatre and TV; The Edelweiss Pirates by Ayub Khan Din, who wrote the stage and film smash-hit East is East; Remote by Stef Smith who is currently best known for supplying the text for RoadKill (Edinburgh Festival 2010, 2011) which won a Laurence Olivier Award in 2012 and The Boy Preference by Elinor Cook, the winner of the George Devine Award 2013 for Most Promising Playwright.

Performing the plays will be Kirk Hallam Community Academy, VWNC, Trent College, Black Box Theatre, CAST Ensemble, Becket School, Flying High, Chapter 4 and Inspire Academy.

In Drama, Baby by Jamie Brittain, it’s the final rehearsals before the practical A Level theatre studies exam, and Neil wants everything to be just perfect. Two competing groups of students attempt to achieve that ever-elusive ‘A’ grade, soon finding the competing forces of sex, alcohol and Artaud threatening to destroy their hopes of a good university place. As egos clash and new relationships are formed and broken, Drama, Baby goes to the heart of what it means to perform, and what it’s like when the handbags and gladrags are stripped away.

In The Boy Preference, the play is set in an affluent suburb in the near future. The birth of a boy is welcomed with shouts of joy and firecrackers, but when a girl is born, the neighbours say nothing. One night, Joey looks out of his bedroom window and sees many young women with a strange glow around them – are they the ‘missing women’? Why have they come back?

On the Sunday, there will be Breakfast at Connections, the chance to enjoy a delicious breakfast whilst watching some great performances. free activities throughout the Festival including live music by local musicians between performances, games on the grass, live entertainment, visual artists, appearances by Shakespeare himself!, a chill out zone plus much more!

Show ticket prices are £3 (under 25s), £6 (over 25s).

All shows on one day: £10 (under 25s), £15 (over 25s)

All shows whole weekend: £18 (under 25s)

All workshops: £4.50 each

For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01332 593939 or online at www.derbytheatre.co.uk For more information about the UK-wide Connections Festival visit: http://connections.nationaltheatre.org.uk/