National Theatre Connections

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Connections (also referred to as New Connections and formerly Shell Connections) is the Royal National Theatre in London's annual youth theatre festival.[1] It was founded in 1995 and sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell until 2007 when the Bank of America took over the sponsorship. The plays are also published by the National Theatre each year.


The National Theatre annually commissions ten plays from established playwrights which are performed by youth theatre groups across the UK. Groups are invited to perform at Connections Festivals held at a professional theatre in their area. A random performance group from each play is then performed at the end of the Festival at the National Theatre.[2]

Professional productions[edit]

Several of the specially commissioned Connection plays have been professionally produced at the National Theatre. In 1999 Sparkleshark was performed. In 2006 three were produced; Burn by Deborah Gearing, Chatroom by Enda Walsh and Citizenship by Mark Ravenhill were performed in 2006;[3] the latter two were revived in 2007 when they also toured.[4] In 2008 Baby Girl by Roy Williams, DNA by Dennis Kelly and The Miracle by Lin Coghlan also received professional productions in the Cottesloe.[5]

Commissioned plays[edit]


Source - [6]


Source - [7]











  • Scenes From Family Life by Mark Ravenhill
  • A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini
  • Theatre of Debate: Blackout by Davey Anderson inspired by the stories of a young person from Barnardo's, Glasgow
  • He’s Talking by Nicholas Wright
  • My Face by Nigel Williams
  • Theatre of Debate: Big Hopes a verbatim play by Gary Owen inspired by an xl. group from The Princes Trust, Cardiff followed by Safe by Deborah Gearing inspired by Fairbridge Southampton
  • Arden City by Timberlake Wertenbaker
  • The Peach Child by Anna Furse and Little Angel Theatre
  • Theatre of Debate directed and devised by Jeremy Weller with young people from Fairbridge Centres in Kennington and Hackney.
  • The Book of Everything by Peter Tabern based on a novel by Guus Kuijer in the English translation by John Nieuwenhuizen
  • Fugee by Abi Morgan.
  • It Snows by Bryony Lavery and Frantic Assembly
  • Burying Your Brother in the Pavement by Jack Thorne









  • After Juliet by Sharman Macdonald
  • Electric Halos by Helen Adams
  • Emperors and Clowns by Chris Barton
  • Happy Endings devised by Danny Parker and Nigel Williams
  • Human Puppets devised by Theatre Royal Bath Young People’s Theatre company
  • Kids are from Mars devised by the London Bubble company
  • Lagna by Jez Simons
  • Les Juifs de Salonique…
  • A Peasant of El Salvador by Peter Gould, Stephen Stearns, adapted by Mick Fitzmaurice
  • Sunnyside by Neill Morton
  • Ticking by Mari Binnie
  • Time on Fire by Timothy Mason
  • Too Too Tight devised by the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre Street Art Company






  1. ^ "Connections homepage" Archived 2012-12-06 at the Wayback Machine, National Theatre. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  2. ^ "NT Connections : FAQs : What Is It?". Archived from the original on 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  3. ^ "National Theatre : Productions : Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship". Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  4. ^ "National Theatre: Chatroom / Citizenship". Archived from the original on 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  5. ^ "National Theatre : Productions : Baby Girl, DNA, The Miracle". Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  6. ^ "Connections Plays - National Theatre". Archived from the original on 2020-01-05. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  7. ^ "Connections Plays - National Theatre". Archived from the original on 2018-09-17. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
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  12. ^ Archived 'Karamazoo' webpage on the NT Shell Connections website
  13. ^