Festival making a Connection with new theatre and writing

Rehearsals on the Crucible stage for NT Connections in 2011
Rehearsals on the Crucible stage for NT Connections in 2011

SHEFFIELD Theatres is a host of the National Theatre Connections Festival, a nationwide celebration of new writing and young theatre talent, .

 Next week specially-commissioned new plays by some of the most exciting British and international playwrights will be performed in the Studio Theatre over six evenings by 12 youth companies and school groups from Sheffield, Rotherham, Nottingham, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. 

Sheffield Theatres is one of 20 partner venues across the UK for NT Connections which commissioned 10 new plays from which groups could choose to perform in their region. One version of each play will be selected to go forward to be staged at the National Theatre.

 Flying the flag for Sheffield will be the  Easy Street Theatre Company performing Little Foot by Craig Higginson on Monday, April 2.

As part of National Theatre Connections, Sheffield Theatres is also running their own Connect Festival with workshops for young people aged between 13 and 19 led by industry professionals, including performance, directing, design, voice and movement. A musical theatre session will be run by Sheffield Theatres artistic director and award-winning musical performer, Daniel Evans.

Sheffield Theatres Creative Projects Manager Emily Hutchinson, who is producer of the Sheffield event,  said: “We’re aiming to create a real festival atmosphere for all the different companies spending a day with us and also for local youngsters to enjoy.”

Members of resident community company Sheffield Popular Theatre are developing a promenade play to be performed in the foyer outside the Studio during the interval between the plays.

The  National Theatre Connections Festival runs from next Wednesday to Tuesday, April 3, with tickets for each double bill costing £5. On Wednesday, April 4, there will be a Young Writer’s Night in which four new plays written by young people aged 13 - 19 years will have rehearsed readings.