Acting students to perform at national theatre as part of 2018 Connections Festival

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A company of acting students are to dive into new and unexplored depths and perform at the National Theatre in London, as part of its 2018 Connections Festival.

The play called ‘The Changing Room’ was written especially for the Connections project by Chris Bush and has already been performed by the students at Cornwall College’s Keay Theatre, St Austell and the Drum at The Plymouth Theatre Royal.

The play is set in and around a swimming pool, where the audience follows a group of teens full of excitement, impatience and uncertainty, each with their own secret worries and desires for what comes next.

Acting Lecturer at Cornwall College St Austell Karen Burdon explains how the National Theatre Connections Festival is such “fabulous opportunity” to the students; “The Festival is so important in helping to open up the world of performance beyond our county and although the students are aware that there is life outside of the towns we live in, these plays, which are written specifically for people of their age, allow their aspirations to soar to new heights”.

“It is so special for them to think that they are part of something much bigger, that up and down the country there are others like themselves engaged in the same projects, creatively unlocking plays that no-one else has had the opportunity to do before them” she continued.

Rufus Norris, National Theatre Director said, “I look forward to the Connections Festival every year as it is always such a joy to welcome young people from every corner of the UK to perform at the National Theatre. Programmes like Connections are more vital now than ever as they give young people the opportunity to experience and take part in theatre no matter where they are in the UK, and I can’t wait to see each of the ten companies’ productions in the Dorfman Theatre in June and celebrate another fantastic year of theatre-making.”

Connections is the largest youth theatre festival in the UK which celebrates new writing for young people aged 13-19. With over 6,500 young people taking part in Connections this year, the plays have been premiered at 28 leading Connections Partner Theatres across the UK. Of the 250 youth theatre companies and schools taking part, Cornwall College is one of ten schools and companies selected to perform at the National Theatre between 26-30 June.

This is the second time the College has made it to London and the students are set to perform on The National Theatre’s Dorfman stage on 26 June.

Andrew Whyment who is one of the National Theatre Connections Associate Directors came and supported the actors at Plymouth when they performed at the Drum said;“I wasn’t surprised when I heard that the show had been chosen for London and I can’t wait to see how it has grown when it goes to the Dorfman Theatre“.

Acting Student, Naomi Buckley commented that “Connections has not only been an excellent opportunity but an eye opening experience. Our course at Cornwall College has really helped us to prepare to a professional standard and it has given us the chance to show our strengths not only as fellow actors but as Cornish actors”.

Karen added; “we would also like to thank First Kernow Bus Company for kindly donating a bus to take relatives, friends and supporting students up to London for this fantastic performance.”

Tickets for the London performance at the Dorfman Theatre on Tuesday 26 June at 8.30pm can be bought from:

For more information on the range of Acting courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit or call 0330 123 2523.