Millais to perform at the Minerva Theatre Chichester

Pupils showing their theatrical skills
Pupils showing their theatrical skills

Pupils at Millais have the chance to play a theatre in Chichester

The play, on Thursday March 22, is part of National Theatre Connections, a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people.

The Changing Room is one of ten brand new plays written especially for Connections by a selection of the best playwriting talent in the UK.

It is a lyrical piece about existing on the cusp of growing up. Are we teenagers? Are we children? What are we? It’s about bodies in flux and perspectives shifting; knowing change is coming but not what that change will look like.

Set in and around a swimming pool, The Changing Room follows a group of teens full of excitement, impatience and uncertainty, each with their own secret worries and desires for what comes next.

Writer Chris Bush commented: “In writing this piece I’m trying to capture something of the hormonal rush and sensory overload of adolescence in all its messy and magical glory.

“While no two teenagers are the same, ultimately I wanted to show that this is an experience no-one goes through alone.”

National Theatre Connections is one of the UK’s largest celebrations of youth theatre.

Plays are commissioned for and about young people, from some of the best contemporary playwrights, and performed by schools and youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland.

In 2018, National Theatre Connections is working with up to 270 Youth Theatres and schools to stage ten newly commissioned plays, adding to the 160+ plays the National Theatre have commissioned for young people since 1995.

All the companies will transfer their production to one of 28 Connections partner theatres across the UK with Millais will performing at The Minerva, Chichester.

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, said: “Connections is at the heart of the National Theatre’s work for young people and one of the most exciting and important projects we do.

“We think it’s vital that young people, wherever they are in the country and whatever their future path, have a chance to get involved in theatre.”

Mrs Sykes, director of creative arts at Millais said: “Our talented young actresses will experience professional theatre-making, mirroring that of a company producing a new play in any theatre in the country.

“They will experience the rehearsal studio space the professional lighting and sound and most impressively tread the boards that Ian McKellen, Anna Chancellor, Lenny Henry and Ophelia Lovibond have before.

“This unique opportunity has been a team effort with much of the inspiration and direction coming from the cast and we are thrilled with the performers and artists they have become.

“Their dedication and commitment to the show over the last five months has been outstanding and although we hope the process is not over yet, we hope they are as proud of the production they have realised as we are.

“In July, ten companies will perform as part of the NT Connections festival to represent each of the ten plays at the National Theatre in London.

“Fingers crossed for Millais Productions so they can take this unique opportunity all the way to London!”

To book to see Millais School perform The Changing Room at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester on Thursday March 22 contact the box office on 01243 781312 or visit www.cft.org.uk/boxoffice/ticket/93802

For further information, contact Mrs Davis, 01403 282013, admin@millais.org.uk or to find out more about National Theatre Connections, visit nationaltheatre.org.uk/connections. The play is suitable for ages 12+