Actors perform at the Lowry Theatre as part of prestigious NT Connections Festival

Talented young actors from Warrington Collegiate have given the performance of a lifetime as part of a prestigious National Theatre festival and even managed to meet a few well-known soap stars in the process.

Performing Arts students took to the stage at the Lowry Theatre this week for the final stage of the NT Connections Festival, which has already seen them perform at Warrington’s Pyramid Theatre.

The students spent months rehearsing ahead of their performance of ‘What are they like?’. They were the only FE College in Cheshire to take part in the highly acclaimed event.

The one act play – written by Lucinda Coxon – was commissioned especially for the festival and revolved around parents and the confessions that they make.

Warrington Collegiate’s actors took on the roles of both parents and their children, sharing their characters’ insight and recollections about being a child, a teenager and a nagging parent.

Michael Smith, Head of Creative and Digital Industries at the College, said: “This was the final stage of the festival. We’ve now got a nervous wait to find out if we’ve been selected to take part in the final performance at the National Theatre in London in July.

“The difference between the performance at the Pyramid in March and the Lowry in May was incredible – this was the best performance the students have given, they really did themselves proud.”

Students were also able to get involved with character-based and vocal workshops with industry professionals from both the National Theatre and the Lowry itself. They also had the opportunity to watch other performances taking place as part of the festival.

Level 2 Performing Arts student Dizai Hayward played one of the children in the play. He said: “Being able to work with the National Theatre was an incredible opportunity and will help me massively and having that real life industry experience will look great when it comes to look for jobs.

“It has also given me a massive confidence boost and helped me to be more unaware on stage – I really enjoyed being a part of it.”

Performing Arts student Klaudia Molnar said: “We were all really thrilled that we had this opportunity because to be chosen to be part of the NT Connections Festival is a really big achievement. It was a really great experience and opportunity for us to be able to show what we can do as an acting company.”

While the highlight was of course performing at the Lowry, coming close was meeting Coronation Street stars Jack Shepherd and Ryan Thomas, who the students bumped into around Salford Quays.

Michael: “The entire thing has been a fantastic experience for our students and shows the high standards students are pushed to at the College. Bumping into the Coronation Street actors was just the icing on the cake.”