Westacre Theatre students in nationwide drama project

Westacre drama students at their "Midsummer Mayhem"

Westacre drama students at their "Midsummer Mayhem"

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What’s the ‘connection’ between Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and The Who’s Pinball Wizard?

The answer can be found at Westacre Theatre, which has joined Connections 500 – the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival.

Connections 500 will involve at least 10,000 talented young people from right across the UK in 2016, and inspire and entertain audiences with plays for and about young people that are current, challenging and resonant.

Under the Connections 500 Project, the production for the Westacre Theatre teenagers is The Musicians by Patrick Marber, an extraordinarily tender play – full of hopes and incredible imagination. Its potency lies in its deceptive simplicity and clever juxtaposition of The Who’s Pinball Wizard and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.

Westacre is the only place in West Norfolk where teenagers can link up with this National Theatre initiative. Young people will have the chance of an amazing time next year to perform at a leading theatre away from their home venue by signing up now to the Westacre Theatre drama workshops being held weekly throughout term time.

The Musicians is set on a Moscow concert hall stage where a school orchestra from England have arrived to play the most important performance of their lives at the European Festival of Youth. But there is a terrible problem – their instruments have been impounded by Customs.

Tension mounts as time ticks away. The only person willing to help is a young Russian cleaner; he has a broom for a guitar and an obsession with everything about rock music. But he comes up with an inspired solution and an entente cordiale is consummated; East and West join hands through music.

The play was written especially for the National and originally performed there in 2004. Westacre Theatre director Sadie Grist met with playwright Marber who explained: “The audience feels the play is like a dream, and they take away something very simple from it. A Russian boy singing English pop songs; an English boy performing Russian music. It’s a cultural exchange, a shaking of hands.”

Sadie added: “It’s a wonderfully inclusive piece of writing which mirrors the ethos at Westacre Theatre exactly. Marber hopes he has given it a kind of democratic sensibility. Certainly it is a lively and humorous production for anyone who has ever played air-trombone.”

More information on the exciting workshops can be found on www.westacretheatre.com or by calling 01760 755800.