Thetford Academy Performing Arts Students Take to the Stage in National Theatre Initiative

May 5th 2023

On the evening of Wednesday 3rd May, Thetford Academy students from Years 8, 9 and 10 performed “Tuesday” by Alison Carr to a packed audience at The Garage in Norwich. 

Performing Arts students at Thetford Academy have been taking part in the National Theatre Connections programme at The Garage since September 2022, developing and performing their piece, as well as gaining valuable skills and experience in putting on a professional production. 

On Tuesday 28th March, the students performed their piece to Roberta Zuric, Director at the National Theatre, as well as a packed theatre of teachers, friends and family. Following excellent feedback from Roberta, the students were then invited to perform the production at The Garage theatre.

The NT Connections initiative welcomes hundreds of youngsters from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire to develop, produce and perform one of ten new plays by some of the country’s most exciting contemporary writers from Monday 25 April to Sunday 1 May. The Garage Norwich is one of 29 regional theatres in the UK taking part in the National Theatre’s annual youth theatre festival and the only venue in this area to be hosting groups.

Drama provides students with exceptional opportunities for self-expression and collaboration, and it was wonderful to see our students performing at The Garage with such confidence and passion. 

Summer, a pupil in Year 9 had this advice for younger pupils:

“It was a great experience performing at the theatre at a young age. I would highly recommend it, as it will help you if you want to get involved in the theatre when you are older.” 

Drama teacher at Thetford Academy,  Alfie Noakes said:

"It was a privilege to direct such a talented group of pupils and see the effort they put into making their performance successful. I feel they really benefited from the experience and the opportunity to perform at The Garage." 

Four of the students involved in the programme, Imogen, Matt, Freddie and Maisie spoke on BBC Radio Norfolk about their experience. Listen to their interview here (39 minutes in).