Students from City of Westminster College (CWC) have been given the perfect platform to display their creative talents to a UK-wide audience.
As part of the prestigious Connections event run by the National Theatre, Level 3 Performing and Production Arts students will take to the stage to perform two plays on Thursday 23 March at the college’s Sarah Siddons Theatre as well as at the capital’s famous Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.
Connections is the Royal National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Every year, it gives youth groups the opportunity to stage new plays written for young people. This year, they will have a choice of ten fantastic plays written by some of the UK’s most exciting writers.
This year’s plays the students could choose from were:
- (Circle Dreams Around) The Terrible, Terrible Past by Simon Longman
- Innocent Creatures by Leo Butler
- Is My Microphone On? by Jordan Tannahill
- Is This Good Enough? by Avaes Mohammad
- Model Behaviour by Jon Brittain
- Old Times by Molly Taylor
- Samphire by Shamser Sinha
- Strangers Like Me by Ed Harris
- The Heights by Lisa McGee
- Tuesday by Alison Carr
The CWC students will perform — Is My Microphone On? by Jordan Tannahill and Is This Good Enough? by Avaes Mohammad and will show off their considerable talents as well as do the playwrights justice with their versions of the much-heralded pieces.
Is My Microphone On? is a play in the form of a protest song, in which a chorus of young performers hold the audience to account inviting them to experience the world together anew. ‘Young people have inherited a burning world… questioning the choices that have been made, and the ones that they will yet be forced to make’.
Ethan, who is performing Is My Microphone On? said: “I’m really enjoying how we can welcome each other to experiment with new creative ideas.
“The main focus of the play is to do with the environment and everything that is going on in the world right now, which is really important to express to other people.”
While Andreyan, also part of the same production, added: “We don’t have to re-enact characters that were made before, we can be ourselves, deliver the lines however we want and dress up however we want, presenting a version of ourselves to the audience”.
“The play has a music element to it, so I’m playing the drums – in my opinion, this shows how creative this whole project is. We must make the music from scratch, which is challenging. We have to connect with each other to make things work and experiment with new things we have never done before.”
Avaes Mohammad's Is This Good Enough? is a story about… ‘Young people from all over the city – the Rudeboys, the Party Girls, the Footballers, the Chess Players, the Skateboarders, the Drug Runners, and the Uniformed Schoolkids – converge on the park one cold winter's night.
Aleesha, who is playing the role of Cyroe comments, “They have been summoned there by the mysterious and enigmatic Cyroe. All they do know is that when Cyroe calls, you answer. Working on this play makes me feel like I am preparing to work in a more professional environment”.
Avaes Mohammad's scripts have chronicled post 9/11 multicultural Britain and represented the challenges of young people in the UK. He currently seeks to engage with the heritage of Islamic and Sufi literatures, reinterpreting them for contemporary western audiences.
Stephen Davis, Principal of United Colleges Group, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our students to perform on a fantastic stage as part of the Connections 2023 Festival.
“Everyone at the college is very much looking forward to seeing their interpretations of two thought-provoking plays and we wish them well as they rehearse for the events.”