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City and Islington College students who form the youth company ‘See&Eye Theatre’ will follow in the footsteps of Hollywood stars John Boyega and Keira Knightly, as they perform in the Connections Festival at the National Theatre next week.

Connections Festival is a week long celebration of new writing performed by young people from across the UK. The festival organisers chose See&Eye Theatre’s performance of Alice Birch’s [ BLANK ] out of 40 other companies from across the country to open up the festival at The Dorfman Theatre on 26th June.

[ BLANK ] is a series of 60 scenes about adults and children affected by the criminal justice system, and drama companies selected which scenes they wanted to perform, meaning that every performance was unique. See&Eye Theatre’s director, Caroline Griffiths, said that it was a very difficult selection process: “It was a real struggle to choose which scenes to perform, because they were all so powerful, and our play could only be an hour long. In the end I selected 13 scenes that focus on the absence of the mother, so we’ve created a play that we hope has a really strong theme running through every scene performed. We’ve incorporated song and elements of physical theatre to enhance the text – the students have been amazing.”

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See&Eye Theatre’s cast is made up of current and former students, and it’s the second time in three years they’ve been selected to perform at the National Theatre Connections Festival, having been chosen two years ago for their version of ‘Children of Killers’ by Katori Hall. Caroline says it’s proof of the amazing drama provision at City and Islington: “Being selected for the second time in three years is such an honour and we are incredibly proud of our students’ achievements. – we’ve even had students get paid acting work after being spotted in our shows.”

Cristina Covaci, was interviewed by the Evening Standard about being selected, and she told them it is “rewarding to be part of a process that allows us to be given professional feedback and to perform at a professional venue,” adding that the play they took on was “challenging, but in the end we managed to perform a version which tells the stories about young people that are not often told.”

See&Eye Theatre will open the festival by performing first at 7.00pm on Tuesday 26th June – tickets are sold out.

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