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Old Vic helps to nurture young talent

London SE1 website team

Stars of the future may be among the young actors and crew chosen to produce and perform at The Old Vic on Sunday 12 June in one of 16 regional showcases for Shell Connections.

Dunraven at the Old Vic
Pupils from Lambeth's Dunraven School performing at the Old Vic last Sunday

As London regional partner, The Old Vic is collaborating with the National Theatre on this year's festival. The programme was established 12 years ago and gives 11-19 year-olds the chance to work on challenging new plays both on stage and behind the scenes. Now in its third year of partnership with Shell UK, Shell Connections commissions new, hour-long plays for and about young people, written by some of the best contemporary playwrights. Schools and youth theatres are involved from all over the UK and Ireland.

This year, 11 groups have been chosen to perform at The Old Vic: St Benedicts, Dunraven, Bishop Thomas Grant, Polka, More House, Oval House, Croft Drama Group, Ealing and Hammersmith College, St Martin in The Field High School for Girls, Nescot College and The Young Actors Theatre.

"We are delighted to be able to support new talent through such an exciting and worthwhile project," said Kevin Spacey, Old Vic artistic director. "The project's aim of creating opportunities for accessing the arts marries perfectly with The Old Vic's ethos. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the groups into the theatre."

The performance starts at 3.30pm on Sunday 12 June. Tickets are 6 (4 concessions) and can be booked by calling 0870 060 6628.

Shell Connections culminates in July 2005 with a celebratory festival at the National Theatre, where 12 companies from the regional showcases will be invited to perform.

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