Sion Daniel Young is Davey, a fifteen-year-old tearaway who roams the streets looking for trouble. A traumatic incident several years before, severe poverty and a well-intentioned but clueless mum means he channels his anger into violent bullying.
Kate Lock’s Russian Dolls tells the fraught story of an unlikely dependency that is doomed to end badly for both women. Lock’s characters are fantastic, and their scenes together are tense and charged with moments of genuine tenderness. In between the scenes are narrative monologues that, whilst providing necessary information, are awkwardly addressed to the ether and disrupt the story’s momentum.
Kids have it tough, especially if they’re poor. Decreasing social mobility, higher costs of education and living, and decreasing welfare are trapping our future generations in inescapable cycles of poverty. They are just as aspirational as young people from more privileged backgrounds and aware of the opportunities they don’t have. They are angry, frustrated and lack the opportunity to constructively express their feelings that often go completely disregarded by more comfortable members of society.
Austerity sucks. People all over the country have had their benefits cut, work opportunities reduced and wages frozen. Austerity has badly affected young people at the onset of their careers, inhibiting the making of an independent, adult life. Young couples don’t have it any easier, even if one of the pair has a great job. For Bernadette and Oliver, life’s about to get even harder. They live in a Britain where the government isn’t just limiting welfare, arts council grants and junior doctors’ salaries. The newest austerity measure is on their speech – not what they say, but how much. Every individual is limited to 140 words a day in Sam Steiner’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons.
National Theatre Connections will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2016 by doubling the number of companies taking part. 500 youth theatre and school companies will perform ten outstanding plays drawn from more than 150 new works commissioned and premiered by Connections since its inception, by writers including Simon Armitage, James Graham, Katori Hall, Jackie Kay, Bryony Lavery, Patrick Marber and Mark Ravenhill.