Students take part in theatre project

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Talented students of Swanwick Hall School are taking part in a prestigious theatre competition to celebrate new plays.

The youngsters have recently performed their rendition of the play Eclipse as part of the National Theatre Connections, a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people.

Connections is produced by the National Theatre and supported by a number of individuals, trusts and foundations.

Connections plays are commissioned for and about young people from some of the best contemporary playwrights, for performance by schools and youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland, making connections one of the world’s largest celebrations of youth theatre.

For its 21st anniversary, Connections is working with 500 youth theatres and schools to stage 12 plays, picked from the 150 plus they have commissioned for young people since 1995, and transfer their production to one of Connections’ 40 partner theatres across the UK.

It was decided that Swanwick Hall School would perform Eclipse by Simon Armitage.

Eclipse focuses on six very different teenagers as they are questioned by the police about the disappearance of a mysterious seventh teenager, Lucy Lime.

She joined the group of friends while they waited on a Cornish beach for the total eclipse of the sun.

Through the use of flashback we find out about the fateful events and are left with more questions then we began with. This is a powerful play that explores the battle between science and imagination.

Head of creative arts at Swanwick Hall School, Martin Picker, said: “Eclipse is such an unusual play. It is set in an ordinary location at a cosmically unusual point in time and Simon Armitage’s poetic language highlights the strangeness of the events.

“We were all really pleased when it was revealed that Swanwick Hall School was to stage this play.

“By being involved in Connections our students have been given the opportunity to extend their skills and abilities beyond the fantastic work that they create within the classroom.

“They have experimented with movement, explored the meaning beneath a character’s lines and relished the opportunity to bring their imaginative ideas of such varied and unusual characters to life.

“The whole experience has been invaluable.”

For more information about National Theatre Connections, visit nationaltheatre.org.uk/connections.