Manx Actors Heading to National Theatre

Kensington Arts’ Connections acting group has been invited to premiere a new production at London’s National Theatre as part of the 2022 Connections Festival on June 30.

This follows on from its brilliant production of ‘Hunt’ which was showcased in York last month.

Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform. The local group were selected from 228 youth theatre companies and 5,400 young people who take part across the British Isles. From this, 10 companies are then selected to perform at the National Theatre.

One of the performers, current Manx Youth Bard Iva Petrova, has taken part in Connections for the last three years. She said: ‘Through Connections I have found the joy of acting, the laughter when making new connections and working together on a powerful script.’

Other Connections alumni include current Young Singer of Mann Evie Skillicorn, regular Gaiety Theatre performer Oliver Sykes and also Joe Locke, who has recently received critical acclaim for his breakout role in Netflix’s “Heartstopper”.’

This year’s cast members are Iva Petrova, Katie-Rose Hughes, Éowyn Goldie, Lexi Forbes, Callum
McWhinnie-Joughin, Lydia Hunter, Daniel Ansara, Sophie Hindson, Thomas Bell, Felicia Kelly-
Pringle, Lacey Cannell, David Livsey and Eve Puzzar. Tadgh Hall, Cici Reed and Xenia Bentley-Garcia
form the backstage team and will also travel to the London Festival.

Peter Shimmin, Creative Development Co-ordinator at Kensington Arts, commented: ‘To be chosen this year is just incredible. The National Theatre, on London’s South Bank, is paramount in the world of Theatre and can be compared to The Royal Opera House or Royal Albert Hall in its prestige. For our young local actors to be travelling down and standing on a stage that has seen the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Gillian Anderson and Ralph Fiennes will be such a life changing moment for them.’

A one-off home performance of the show will also be staged at Kensington Arts on Saturday 18 June, with attendance by invitation only. To register your interest in joining National Theatre Connections 2023, please contact Peter Shimmin on Peter.Shimmin@gov.im.