David Mamet, Anthony Neilson and Ben Power are among the playwrights commissioned to write plays for the National Theatre’s New Connections programme this year.
New Connections is the UK’s biggest celebration of youth theatre. Each year the National commissions prominent contemporary playwrights to write a new play for and about teenagers, for performances by schools and youth theatres all over the UK. An example of each play is then showcased in the National Theatre’s New Connections festival, which this year runs from 1 to 7 July.
Celebrated American playwright Mamet is the author of numerous plays which are often performed in London; recent productions include Speed-The-Plow at the Old Vic, Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo theatre and Oleanna at the Garrick theatre.
Neilson’s plays include The Wonderful World Of Dissocia at the Royal Court, and God In Ruins, developed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which played at the Soho theatre over Christmas 2007. Power has often collaborated with director Rupert Goold, working with him on innovative adaptations of Faustus and Six Characters In Search Of An Author, which played in the West End last year.
Also writing for New Connections this year are the acclaimed novellists Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider) and William Boyd (Restless), plus Christopher William Hill, Conor Mitchell, Davey Anderson, Georgia Fitch, Lisa McGee, Michael Lesslie and Nick Drake. Aiming to reflect the lives of teenagers, the plays will incorporate themes of attraction, rejection, loyalty, loss, magic and mischief, plus the familiar ups and downs of first friendships.
Continuing its commitment to make theatre accessible to younger audiences, the National Theatre is extending its Entry Pass ticket scheme to 15-25 year olds, allowing members of the scheme to claim tickets to NT productions for just £5. As part of the National’s involvement in government initiative A Night Less Ordinary, the first ticket booked by Entry Pass members will now be free, with subsequent tickets available at £5.