For an actor, and especially an actor in training, there is no better, or more prestigious, stage than that of the National Theatre in London.
For a group of 30 Level 3 Acting students, all in their first year at Nottingham College (formerly ncn), their dreams have come true, as they are one of just 10 groups nationally to be chosen to perform at the National Theatre’s Connections Season on 29th June 2017.
More than 250 acting companies from youth theatres, colleges, schools and professional theatres applied to take part and for Nottingham College it’s a huge accolade to have been chosen as the only acting company from the East Midlands.
The students are performing a contemporary comedy piece called
‘Musical Differences’, written by Robin French, especially for the National Theatre Connections Season.
First year Level 3 Acting student, Drew Hoult, 17, from Beeston, said: “We’ve worked hard throughout the year for this opportunity and I can’t believe it’s finally here. We’re all nervous but really excited to be part of this showcase and I can’t wait to get on the stage. It’s a huge theatre, some of the biggest names in the world have performed there, so for us, it’s an amazing opportunity that you don’t get every day. We’re only in our first year but obviously, when the time comes, this experience on our CVs will be so helpful to all of us.”
Fellow acting student Michelle Blair, 18, from Long Eaton, adds: “I still can’t quite believe that I’m going to be performing at the National Theatre! I’ve always had a passion for theatre performance and it’s always been a dream of mine to perform in London, so to experience it with friends from my course is going to be incredible.”
Pictured above: Michelle (left) and Drew (far right) rehearsing at Clarendon campus.
Performing Arts Course Leader, Amy Legge, said: “The level of professionalism that’s required by the students is huge and they’ve all risen to the task. They’ve put in so much work to make it the best show it can be and they’ve learnt so much in terms of the level of commitment and stamina that is needed to put on a piece of this standard. It’s wonderful to be recognised nationally for the quality of work we produce here at Nottingham College.”
Ethan Scanlan is one of two students involved in the technical side of the performance. He is studying Level 3 Theatre Foundation at the College and is getting ready to progress to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London this September. “It’s my job to ensure that all the technical elements run smoothly and that everybody’s in sync. I’ll be communicating with the lighting technician, checking the sound and making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. It’s a lot of pressure but I’m really excited to be involved. I’ve always followed the National Theatre Connections Season and now I’m actually part of it – it’s incredible!”
Connections is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools. It gives young people experience of professional theatre-making and their experience mirrors that of a company producing a new play in a theatre anywhere in the country. They create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards and stage manage their performances.