The pupils, from St Peter’s School in York, were performing the play as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival.
Each year the National Theatre invites ten writers to create new plays. The plays are then performed in venues around the country. The company of 24 St Peter’s pupils performed a new play called ‘The Wardrobe’, written by Sam Holcroft.
The play is about 450 years’ worth of events through history, and a wardrobe which seems to absorb its owners’ stories and keep them within its walls.
The company spent the morning in a vocal workshop and technical rehearsal , before staging the play. The performance itself was highly successful and all students seemed to get a lot out of the experience – for some of them it was the first time to perform in a professional theatre.
The National Theatre Connections is the biggest youth theatre festival on the planet. It 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. They create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards and stage-manage their performances.
Sam Holcroft is currently Writer-In-Residence at the National Theatre Studio. In 2009-10 she was the Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Traverse Theatre and in 2009 won the Tom Erhardt Award for up-and-coming writers.