Celebration of play-writing

Young actors get to work with the very best in new writing when Chichester’s Minerva Theatre hosts the regional showcase for National Theatre Connections from March 19-24.

The event is a nationwide celebration of new play-writing for young people.

Chichester will welcome a dozen school companies and youth theatre groups from the south-east, performing their choice of ten new internationally-inspired, specially-commissioned plays for young performers from some of the most exciting writers in the world today.

All of the plays were written with actors of any nationality or racial background in mind.

Rupert Rowbotham, learning and participation director at Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “We have got nine out of the ten scripts for the 2012 cycle coming, and if we are lucky, the National Theatre will pick out of our versions and ask them to take it to the National Theatre during June.”

The Chichester timetable is:

Monday March 19: CATS Youth Theatre - Socialism is Great; Chichester High School for Girls - Little Foot.

Tuesday March 20: Blatchington Mill School - Journey To X; Chichester Festival Youth Theatre - The Ritual.

Wednesday March 21: Havant Academy - So You Think You’re a Superhero?;

The Henry Beaufort School - Little Foot.

Thursday March 22: Brighton Hove Sussex Sixth Form - The Grandfathers;

Christs’ Hospital School - Victim Sidekick Boyfriend Me.

Friday March 23: Bexhill Sixth Form College - The Grandfathers; SAVVY Theatre Company - Journey to X; Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys - Prince of Denmark.

Saturday March 24: Trinity Youth Theatre Company - Alice By Heart; Academy of Creative Training - Journey to X; Wild Wing - Victim Sidekick Boyfriend Me.

Alice By Heart by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik offers a fresh new rock-musical take on Alice in Wonderland, from the creators of Spring Awakening.

The Grandfathers by Rory Mullarkey looks at the plight of teenage soldiers caught in the military machine.

Journey To X by Nancy Harris sees a group of friends must raise the money to get to London to audition for the world’s biggest talent contest.

Little Foot by Craig Higginson sees a group of young friends unleash the nightmarish stories of their ancestors.

The Ritual by Samir Yazbek looks at a secret organisation with a set of rules its members must follow.

Prince of Denmark by Michael Lesslie is an imagined prequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

So You Think You’re A Superhero? By Paven Virk depicts a prestigious Sports Academy which has a secret sporting superhero lined up for the Olympics.

Socialism Is Great by Anders Lustgarden sees Revolutionary China is contrasted with the current Republic.

Victim Sidekick Boyfriend Me by Hilary Bell sees a girl commit a crime without punishment.