Young drama stars from Wolverhampton to take to the London stage
Young drama stars are celebrating after being hand-picked to flaunt their talents on stage at a national theatre festival.
Members of Wolverhampton-based Active and Creative Training School (ACTS) have been named as performers at this year's National Theatre Connections Festival.
It will be the first time many of the young people will travel to London to grace the stage with their presence in front of crowds of theatre-goers.
Tonia Daley-Campbell, leader of ACTS, said: “The Connections Festival with the National Theatre is one of the best opportunities my young people have been a part of.
"To see the young people’s faces when I told them the news was priceless and that’s why I do what I do.
"I’m basking in these glorious feelings that yes, my kids really brought their A game and Connections will forever be one of the best memories our kids will hold.”
The Connections Festival is the UK's largest youth event of its kind, celebrating new writing for young people between 13 and 19.
A total of 10 new plays by established and emerging contemporary playwrights have been exclusively commissioned for young people to stage at this year's festival.
Young people from Wolverhampton will steal the spotlight when they perform 'terra/earth', written by Nell Leyshon and choreographed by Anthony Missen, at London's Dorfman Theatre between June 25 and 29.
The narrative dance piece follows classmates who are torn apart when they are given the opportunity to dance, with two opposing teams forming.
Brandon Ngwenya, who is part of the group, said, “I can’t believe all the hard work we put into doing the show and now were going to the National Theatre in London.
"This is a dream come true.”
More than 6,500 young people, representing more than 270 youth theatre companies and schools, will take part in the festival.
Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre added: “National Theatre Connections brings together young theatre-makers from across the UK with today’s most exciting playwrights.
"I look forward to watching the ten companies perform at this year’s festival, as a reflection of the fantastic variety of productions which have been taking place in every corner of the UK throughout the year.
"We hope to inspire more young people in the art of theatre-making and the huge variety of backstage and offstage roles involved in creating a production”.