Youth group takes to Dundee Rep stage

The cast of Eclipse which The Little Red Theatre will stage at Dundee Rep on May 8.

The cast of Eclipse which The Little Red Theatre will stage at Dundee Rep on May 8.

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A Kirriemuir youth theatre company will head to Dundee Rep next month to take pare in the world’s largest youth theatre festival.

The National Theatre Connections 500, celebrates its 21st anniversary this year and since 1995 has offered a unique opportunity for youth theatres and school drama groups to stage plays specially written for young people by some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights, in leading theatres around the country.

It also offers them the chance of performing at the National Theatre itself.

Members of The Little Red Theatre will be one of six Scottish groups to perform at Dundee Rep between Friday, May 6 and Sunday, May 8.

Nationally, 500 youth theatre companies involving 10,000 young people, working with 40 major regional theatres, will perform 12 plays drawn from the 150 works written by leading playwrights since the festival began.

The Kirrie group will perform ‘Eclipse’ by Simon Armitage, which it has already staged for a local audience as well as a director from the National Theatre in London.

Stephanie Arsoska, who runs Little Red Theatre, said: “We’ve already performed the play in the town, which was our first public performance so a big occasion for us, and it has received a great response. The National Theatre gave us a really nice report on it and the young people can now take their work to the next level.

“Getting to perform at Dundee Rep is tremendous for them because there isn’t a proper performance space in town, so it’s very exciting, and they will be able to link up with other youth theatre groups. It will be a very different environment for them to be in.”

The weekend will also include professionally-run workshop sessions organised by The Rep so the youngsters will be able to build on their existing skills.

Alice King-Farlow, National Theatre director of learning, said: “Connections has revolutionised the landscape for youth theatre over the 21 years of its existence, creating an extraordinary body of over 150 specially commissioned scripts for young performers by leading dramatists.

“Teenagers also get the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of theatre-making, from set design to marketing.”

There will be a double bill performances each night over the weekend and the Little Red Theatre will was on stage on the Sunday night along with Grove Academy Youth Theatre, which will present ‘What are they Like?’ by Lucinda Coxon. Performances will begin nightly at 7pm and further details can be found at www.dundeerep.co.uk/event/nt-connections