The NT Connections festival is now a regular feature on the theatrical landscape. Known for its collaboration with some of this country’s most prolific writers, Connections is an opportunity for youth theatre companies and schools across the country to participate. The stakes are high as ten are selected to perform their piece at the National Theatre itself.

This year, Bristol Old Vic continuer their association by playing host to ten separate companies over one week as they each present their take on one of the plays written specifically for the festival.

One of this year’s playwrights, Howard Brenton, describes the process as a unique experience, “It's way out of the comfort zone of a 70 year old playwright to write a play that, hopefully, means something to actors in their teens!”

Each company is made up of actors aged between 13-19 years who are given exclusive access to new material written for the festival. This year’s lineup includes Jim Cartwright, Lucinda Coxon, Stacey Gregg and Howard Brenton. The companies are nationwide and ten are chosen to perform at the National Theatre.

South West representatives include John Cabot Academy, ICIA (University of Bath), Parabola Arts Centre and St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College (Bristol).

NT Connections runs at Bristol Old Vic from 25 to 29 March. The National Theatre plays host to the final ten 3 to 8 July 2013.