Banbury and Bicester College performing arts students work with National Theatre on prestigious Connections showcase

20 January, 2021

Banbury and Bicester College is pleased to announce that its performing and production arts students have been chosen to take part in the National Theatre’s annual Connections showcase for the first time.

Banbury and Bicester College is pleased to announce that its performing and production arts students have been chosen to take part in the National Theatre’s annual Connections showcase for the first time.

Students will use this opportunity to support their final major project and will work on it throughout the academic year with rehearsals having started earlier this month.

Each year, the National Theatre commissions a set of new plays especially for Connections 2021 which have been written for young people.

The students are delighted that they will be working on producing and performing Find a Partner by Miriam Battye. Find a Partner is a commentary on how society views love and what it deems important. It’s similar to Love Island, focusing on social media with a fly-on-the-wall Big Brother style.

Emily Frew, performing and production arts student at Banbury and Bicester College, said: “I’m really excited about working alongside the National Theatre! This will be a new experience for me, and I can’t wait to work and perform in a professional space, as well as working with my classmates on this very interesting performance”

The young performers will have regular workshops with the playwright and will be assigned a professional director from the National Theatre, either via Zoom or in person closer to the time of the performance.

Students are currently rehearsing online with the support of a technician with hopes to perform at Banbury and Bicester College and The North Wall in Oxford in May 2021.

The National Theatre hopes that students will be able to take part in a dress rehearsal and final performance at their chosen theatre but are just looking into the best way to do so, given the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

A director from the National Theatre will also watch one of the performances and give students feedback which can be used for reflection, helping them to improve future performances.

Adam Goldstein, Work Experience Coordinator at Activate Learning, said: “This is the first time Banbury and Bicester College performing and production arts students have taken part in the National Theatre Connections Showcase programme. The students picked a comedy that really works with their skillset.

“We’re not only looking forward to staging this show in Banbury, but also moving this production to a wonderful theatre; The North Wall in Oxford.”

Connections is an annual narrating festival where every year, the National Theatre commissions 10 new plays for young people to perform, uniting some of the UK’s best writers with the next generation of performers.

Learn more about performing and production arts courses on the Activate Learning website or contact us via telephone on 0800 612 6008.