Bringing local theatre to a national stage

Pam Mills

Trinity Youth Theatre enters the National Theatre Connections festival with their production of When They Go Low. Its director Jess Horley reveals what it is all about

TRINITY Youth Theatre is entering into the largest youth theatre festival on the planet: the National Theatre Connections Festival. Every year, the National Theatre commissions ten plays from established playwrights to be performed by hundreds of youth theatres, groups and schools up and down the country at their home theatres or other venues, and then at a professional partner theatre. One chosen group per play will then perform at the National Theatre itself at the end of the festival later this year.

The festival was founded in 1995 and all plays are written to be performed by young people. Previous plays include DNA by Dennis Kelly, Citizenship by Mark Ravenhill, and Burn by Deborah Gearing, all of which have gone on to be produced professionally at the National Theatre. Trinity Youth Theatre’s cast of 20 will be performing When They Go Low by Natalie Mitchell.

Directed by Jason Lower and Jess Horsley, the premiere performance will be at the Stag Theatre Plaza in Sevenoaks, where the play will be assessed by an adjudicator. Following this are two home performances at Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. After the home performances, the cast and directors will get to meet a director or writer representing the National Theatre Connections Festival, who will give them some
useful feedback to polish their performance with for the final show at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.

When They Go Low focuses on the current struggle to define feminism, exploring all types of female and male perspectives. The title itself, When They Go Low, is an extract from a Michelle Obama quote. The play, set in the modern world, is naturalistic with some stylised elements, including a chorus which never leaves the stage.

The chorus represents the wider world of the play, and comments, verbally and non-verbally, on the main events that are happening on stage. This makes it an exciting and dynamic play which is not only interesting for a youth audience, but also a wider audience, given its political relevance today.

Go to under ‘Youth Theatre’ or call 01892 678678. Tickets for performances at the Stag Theatre and the Marlowe Theatre can be booked via the
relevant venues

    Sun 4 Mar, The Stag Theatre Plaza, Sevenoaks
  • Mon 26 Mar, Trinity Theatre
  • Wed 28 Mar, Trinity Theatre
  • Sat 21 or Sun 22 Apr (TBC)
  • The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury


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