What is the National Theatre Connections project?

Connections is the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Each year it offers a unique opportunity for youth theatres and school theatre groups to stage new plays written for young people by some of theatre’s most exciting playwrights, and to perform in leading theatres across the UK.

Connections gives young people experience of professional theatre-making. Their experience mirrors that of a company producing a new play in any theatre in the country. Each company will experience  performing in a leading regional theatre, at one of the Connections festivals around the country.


Ormiston Rivers Academy has its own theatre company that participates in the project yearly. Ms Goodfellow set up the group in 2016 and auditions annually for new members. The company are a group of students from year 10-13 who are amazing. Their talent and commitment means that the work they produce goes from strength to strength each year. The initiative is led by Ms Goodfellow, do pop and see her if you'd like to know more.


The Monstrum by Kellie Smith

Performed in 2017 at Queens Theatre, Hornchurch

"The most pleasureful thing about watching your production was that it embraced every one of the challenges and met them. I laughed, I guffawed, I was shocked, I was provoked, I was moved."

Olly Hawes, director from the National Theatre.

Changing Rooms

The Changing Room by Chris Bush

Performed in 2018 at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

"Your production was infectious and funny, and the young performers obviously enjoyed themselves hugely with it."

Lucy Bradley, director from the National Theatre.


Ageless by Benjamin Kuffuor

Performed in 2019 the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch

"It was clear that all actors had worked hard to understand their characters motives and drives as well as their vulnerabilities and weaknesses."

Joe Lichtenstein, director from the National Theatre.


Eclipse by Simon Armitage 

Performed in 2016 at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester

"A real dedication was evident and they had all clearly met the challenges of this play with huge enthusiasm."

Amy Draper, director from the National Theatre.

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