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Connections is the National Theatre’s annual, nationwide youth theatre festival. The programme is 30 years old and has a history of championing the talent of young people from across the UK.

Applications for Connections 2025 are now closed.

Got a question? Please get in touch with our Connections team!

Get in touch

How it works

Group of young people performing Connections play 2023 'Is my Microphone On', two young people in colourful hoodies (blue and yellow), standing with arms crossed.

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys performing Is My Microphone On? by Jordan Tannahill
Connections Festival 2023, photo by Jimmy Lee

Every year, Connections commissions new plays for young people to perform. The programme brings together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow. In 23/24, we worked with over 250 youth companies from every corner of the UK.

Connections is open to any company of young people aged 13-19, and up to 26 years old for groups with additional needs. You can be a school, a youth theatre or voluntary organisation. You can have lots of experience staging plays or none at all. Whoever you are, your group can apply to be part of Connections.

For details about the process, casting, how much it costs and our FAQs, please click the button below.

Find out how Connections works

Partner theatres

We are delighted to work with 31 Partner Theatre venues across the UK on Connections 2025:

A map of Great Britain against a purple background with a set of dots representing a variety of theatre venues across the union

Connections Partner Theatre map 2024

1. Aberystwyth Arts Centre
2. artsdepot, London
3. Beacon Arts Centre
4. Blackpool Grand
5. Bristol Old Vic
6. Cast Doncaster
7. Chichester Festival Theatre
8. Crewe Lyceum
9. Derby Theatre
10. Gulbenkian Theatre
11. HOME Manchester

12. Lighthouse Poole
13. Lyric Theatre Belfast
14. Lyric Theatre Hammersmith
15. Newcastle Theatre Royal
16. North Wall Oxford
17. Nottingham Playhouse
18. Pitlochry Festival Theatre
19. Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
20. Royal & Derngate, Northampton
21. Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
22. Soho Theatre, London

23. Southwark Playhouse, London
24. The Garage, Norwich
25. The Lowry, Salford
26. Theatre Peckham, London
27. Theatre Royal, Plymouth
28. Tramshed, London
29. Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
30. Worcester Theatres
31. York Theatre Royal


We are delighted to share our Connections 2025 plays.

The Connections 2025 programme includes ten new play commissions, which have been closely developed with input from young people

The Connections 2025 plays are:

Mia and the Fish by Satinder Choha
The Company of Trees by Jane Bodie
Ravers by Rikki Beadle-Blair
YOU 2.0 by Alys Metcalf

Fresh Air by Vickie Donoghue
No Regrets by Gary McNair
Their Name is Joy by May Sumbwanyambe
Normalised by Amanda Verlaque
Saba’s Swim by Danusia Samal
The Brain Play by Chloë Lawrence-Taylor and Paul Sirett

The Connections 2024 plays were: 

Age is Revolting by Abi Zakarian
Shout by Alexis Zegerman
Orchestra by Charlie Josephine
Dy Enw Marw / Your Name is Dead by Elgan Rhys, in collaboration with Leo Drayton (Ysgrifennwyd yn y Gymraeg, and written in English)
Kiss / Marry / Push Off Cliff by Josh Azouz
The Sad Club by Luke Barnes & Adam Pleeth
Wind / Rush Generation(s) by Mojisola Adebayo
The Periodicals by Siân Owen
Replica by Titas Halder
Back in the Day by Yasmeen Khan

Before and after our performances we celebrated almost like family. It was a very bonding experience.

Student, Connections 2023

It’s always the development of the show and the cast’s increased sense of ownership over it which never fails to bring me joy.

Youth leader, Connections 2023

Our funders

The Mohn Westlake Foundation supports nationwide Learning programmes for young people.

Connections is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, Buffini Chao Foundation, The EBM Charitable Trust, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Katie Bradford Arts Trust, Susan Miller & Byron Grote, Mulberry Trust, Tuixen Foundation, The Peter Cundill Foundation, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Woodward Charitable Trust and The John Thaw Foundation.

Nationwide learning is supported by Buffini Chao Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation, Tim & Sarah Bunting, MFPA Trust Fund for the Training of Disabled Children in the Arts, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, and The Andor Charitable Trust.

Find out more about supporting our work


Contact Us

Kirsten Adam
Head of Young People’s Programmes

Ola Animashawun
NT Associate and Connections Dramaturg

You can contact the Connections team on

Jenny Wilkinson
Project Producer, Connections

Finley Neilens
Connections Coordinator

Photos © Jimmy Lee
Connections Festival 2023

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