Actors work with industry professionals as part of National Theatre performance

Budding young actors at Warrington Collegiate have worked as part of a prestigious National Theatre festival to perform in front of hundreds of people.

Performing Arts students spent months rehearsing ahead of their performance of ‘What are they like?’ at Warrington’s Pyramid Theatre last week.

They were the only FE College in Cheshire to have taken part in this highly acclaimed event.

The one act play – written by Lucinda Coxon – was a commission as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival and revolved around parents and the confessions they make.

Warrington Collegiate’s actors took on the roles of both parents and their children, sharing their characters’ insight and recollections about being a child, a teenager and a nagging parent.

The performance, which took place on Tuesday 22nd March, also included a devised performance from Beamont Collegiate Academy and a performance from Warrington Collegiate’s dance students.

Performing Arts student Matthew Jennings played one of the parents in the play.

The 19-year-old said: “Being part of the NT Connections Festival and performing at the Pyramid Theatre was a fantastic experience. It was more professional than any other show that I’ve been involved in as we actually got to work with a renowned theatre company and the play was quite serious. It gave us an insight into adult life which is quite frightening but fun at the same time.

“Having this opportunity is going to help me massively as it showed me how much competition there is in the industry and that I’m not just a kid anymore – I have to work for my place and try my best which I feel I am able to do with everything that I have been taught and experienced at the College.”

Level 2 Performing Arts student Dizai Hayward, who hopes to work in advertisement and film when he leaves College, said: “It was a great experience and it was nice to be on stage and to be able to engage with the audience.

“Being able to work with the National Theatre was an incredible opportunity and will help me massively and having that real life industry experience will look great when it comes to looking for jobs.”

Dizai, who played one of the children in the play, added: “It has also given me a massive confidence boost and helped me be more unaware on stage – I really enjoyed being a part of it.”

Tuesday’s performance is the latest in a long line of fantastic opportunities given to Performing Arts and Dance students at Warrington Collegiate.

17-year-old Klaudia Molnar said: “We were all really thrilled that we had this enrichment because to be chosen to be part of the NT Connections Festival is a really big achievement. We are getting so many opportunities in the industry and I think it’s a really great experience for us to be able to show what we can do as an acting company.”

The students take their production to the Lowry Theatre in Salford on Monday 16th May.