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Gulbenkian’s Young Company selected to perform at the National Theatre in London as part of NT Connections 2019

23 May 2019

We are excited that Gulbenkian has again been selected from many amazing productions created by young people this year to perform as part of the NT Connections Festival in London, a nationwide project run by the National Theatre.
Gulbenkian Young Company’s production of Ageless by acclaimed writer Benjamin Kuffuor will finish the NT Connections Festival at The National Theatre, London on Saturday 29 June. They are one of only ten young companies selected from over 300 entrants across the UK.

Working with Director Emma Willatts, the cast and crew of around 20 young people created their own interpretation of Ageless, an impressed the judges at the regional heats in early May.

Connections is a unique experience that allows a young company to delve into fantastic, relevant new writing, and to see the process of developing a show for different venues. The ownership that they have over the final piece is an absolute pleasure to see, and the best prize that I could ask for.
Emma Willatts, Director, Gulbenkian Youth Company

We are so proud of the talented and committed young company who have worked so hard on the production. It is testament to the brilliant artists who have supported them that they will be able to perform on a National Theatre stage. Experiences like this can be life-changing for young people and we know that the cast and crew will go on to do amazing things.
– Eleanor Cocks, Head of Creative Learning, Gulbenkian

This is the second time in recent years that Gulbenkian’s Young Company have been selected for this showpiece event. previously performed The Edelweiss Pirates, a short play by acclaimed writer Ayub Khan Din (best known for East is East) on the Olivier stage at the National Theatre in 2015.

Ageless by Benjamin Kuffuor

‘Generations to come will view this as the moment that the curse of aging was removed and the world was able to look to tomorrow without the fear of a failing mind or body.’
In a not too distant future, Temples pharmaceutical corporation has quite literally changed the face of aging.
Their miracle drug keeps its users looking perpetually teenage. With an ever-youthful population, how can society support those who are genuinely young?
Ageless is a play which questions what it means to be young and the ways in which generations collide.
Find out more here

Help make this happen

Give £50 to our Gulbenkian 50 campaign and help us to have a real impact on the lives of Young People in Kent. Gulbenkian offers a vital creative outlet for hundreds of young people in Kent, but we have to do more.
With your help we will give more young people the space to meet and share amazing, creative experiences with each other, to rub shoulders with professional artists and practitioners, to grow as individuals and learn for themselves how to use the arts to transform their own lives.


More about NT Connections

NT Connections is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools.

NT Connections aims to: 
   •   inspire 13-19 year olds with high-quality new playwriting 
   •   give companies the knowledge, skills and confidence to bring the plays to life
   •   involve a wide range of young companies, giving additional support where needed
   •   encourage young people to get involved in all aspects of theatre making


About Gulbenkian and Young People

The empowerment of children and young people is at the core of Gulbenkian’s Vision. We offer a high quality programme of work by, with and for children and young people, and the Youth Theatre is just one of the ways in which we provide meaningful and exciting opportunities for young people to learn skills and create amazing experiences.


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

Our projects with young people

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