Bourne Academy to perform at the National Theatre in London

Bourne Academy to perform at the National Theatre in London

Bourne Academy has been selected to perform a new play on the National Theatre’s Dorfman Stage in London as part of the 2023 Connections Festival, representing the vast range of talent of young people across the UK alongside nine other youth groups.

The Bourne Academy students from Years 9 to 13 have been chosen by the National Theatre to perform ‘Old Times’, a brand-new play about stigmatism, friendship and justice written by playwright Molly Taylor.

The students first started their journey to the 2023 Connections Festival back in November 2022, when they entered the Connection programme along with 263 other Youth Theatre Groups, Sixth Forms, Colleges, Grammar Schools and Non-Selective Schools. Each of these groups were allocated one of ten new plays commissioned by Connections and this is when they first read the script for ‘Old Times’.

The school and Sixth Form have an established performing arts department with vast experience of producing large productions to sell-out audiences so performing on the big stage is not something new for the students and they have relished the chance to being involved in the whole process from page to stage.

To have the opportunity to perform at the National Theatre, Bourne Academy were selected out of 38 groups who were allocated this new play. Performing in front of a live audience and representatives from the National Theatre, they have delivered two outstanding performances at Bourne Academy in March 2023 and at the Nottingham Playhouse in April 2023.

The Connections Festival involves young people in all aspects of the theatre making process both on and off stage, which includes getting involved with costume, lighting and set design. This annual nationwide youth theatre festival is now in its 28th year and celebrates young talent with 5,600 young people aged 13-19 participating this year.

Mr Sammy, Head of School at Bourne Academy said “The achievement of our students is completely deserved as they have worked incredibly hard and shown a real desire to deliver their best performances every time. We are immensely proud that non-selective schools are represented at the Connections Festival and for the talents of our students to be recognised alongside other youth theatre groups. Mr Wood, Mrs Parker and Mr Swinn from the Bourne Academy Performing Arts department deserve credit for their vision of the play and working with students to realise their potential. As a non-selective school, we are inclusive and actively encourage and support every student to pursue their interests in the arts.”

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said “Watching talented young people from across the nation bring to life these new plays through the Connections Festival is a highlight of the National Theatre calendar. We hope all those who have participated this year have been inspired by what they have created and how they have created it. I can’t wait to see the Dorfman Theatre bursting with the talent from the selected ten groups as they represent the passion and imagination of young people today.”

The full list of schools and youth theatre groups confirmed to perform at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Stage from 20th to 24th June 2023 are:

PlayPerformed by
Old Times by Molly TaylorBourne Academy
Innocent Creatures by Leo ButlerThe Boaty Theatre Company
Strangers Like Me by Ed HarrisCrescent Arts Youth Theatre
Tuesday by Alison CarrPlough Youth Theatre
Samphire by Shamser SinhaAberystwyth Arts Centre Youth Theatre
Is This Good Enough? by Avaes MohammadEastbury Drama Group
(Circle Dreams Around) The Terrible, Terrible Past by Simon LongmanIlkley Players Greenroom
The Heights by Lisa McGeeSt Brendan’s Sixth Form College
Is My Microphone On? by Jordan TannahillSimon Langton Grammar School for Boys
Model Behaviour by Jon BrittainSt Thomas the Apostle School and Sixth Form
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