Performing Arts students from New City College Epping Forest had the opportunity to be part of the National Theatre Connections Festival 2023, working and collaborating with experienced actors and stage technicians – and culminating with a performance at a professional theatre.
The students, all studying the Level 3 Performing Arts Extended Diploma at the campus in Borders Lane, Loughton, took to the stage at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, to perform a new play called Innocent Creatures by Leo Butler.
It was a fantastic success with stunning visuals, captivating performances and thought-provoking story-telling and received really great feedback from the audience and from the professional actors who supported the students.
One said: “As a partner theatre with the National Theatre Connections Festival, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch were thrilled to welcome five companies over three days, including New City College Epping Forest, to present their work.
“The festival was a resounding success and the students’ performance was top class. It is always rewarding to be involved and to champion the talent of up-and-coming young actors.”
Before the evening performance the students spent the day behind the scenes at the theatre, gaining technical experience with lighting, costumes and props and rehearsing for the show.
A few weeks beforehand the students had the chance to workshop with National Theatre directors, including Joanna Bowman, who visited the Epping Forest campus to watch the ‘home performance’ of the play.