Ten teenagers aged 14 to 17 are the residents of a teenage cancer unit in a city hospital. All of them (a mix of boys and girls) are undergoing various conventional treatments for different cancers at different stages of progression. Their shared illness bonds them and they support each other as they reveal their fears and hopes for the future while confronting, head on, the very real prospects of untimely death.

The teenagers have a special room called The Retreat where they can have peer meetings without adult intrusion – a place to go where it is calm and where their thoughts can be revealed to each other without fear of it ever leaving the room. What is discussed in The Retreat stays in The Retreat.

Hospital Food plays as part of the National Theatre’s 2015 Connections Festival and is performed by Kildare Youth Theatre, Ireland.

The Connections festival is the finale of the National Theatre’s year-long, nationwide programme of new writing for young people. 270 youth theatre companies have performed 10 specially commissioned plays at Connections Festivals in 27 leading theatres. 10 of these companies perform this summer at the NT.

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