Youth Arts Centre at National Theatre Connections 2019

National Theatre Connections 2019
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The Isle of Man team with Emma Callin, Head of Villa Gaiety and the Arts. This year's festival took place in Inverness. 

Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK's most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.

Team spirit all around for the Youth Arts group.

Connections is the world's biggest youth festival run each by the National Theatre in London. Festivals are held in different parts of Britain with over 350 groups taking part and performing their pick of the 10 plays.

The Youth Arts Centre (YAC) represented the Isle of Man this year in Inverness performing to a very high standard.

The opportunities that Connections provides for our Island students is wonderful, from socialising with people from different backgrounds to gaining free workshops and master classes from leading National Theatre directors, it's something they wouldn't normally get at home.

– David Dawson

You can see all four days compiled in one short handy edit here:

National Theatre Connections at Eden Court.

To see the YAC performance you can fast track to their performance and feedback at 6:08.

The Youth Art Theatre group wowed audiences with their performance at this year's National Theatre Connections.

We had a great feedback as can be seen on the video and the students involved had an amazing time! Massive thanks to the Isle of Man Arts Council, Douglas Choral Union, Argon and The Isle of Man Steam-Packet Company who each helped us with the journey and accommodation.

- David Dawson

Letters From the Students

Dear Isle of Man Arts Council,

I have written a poem to you about our recent adventures in Inverness.

Inverness... living the drama dream!
New friends made each day.
Variety of incredible drama performances.
Exciting workshops and activities.
Really, really long journey... with the best people.
Not a lot of sleep, too excited!
Everybody coming together with one shared passion.
Scotland’s most scenic city.
Superb experience, best time ever.

I think my poem says it all. Thank you for giving us this opportunity, words can’t express what a great life skill this has given me. Connections is a vital part of my life, to be able to learn what we do in our group and then take part in the UK is a very special opportunity.

Thank you.

Isabella. (Aged 15)

Dear Isle of Man Arts Council

The national theatre connections was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I learnt so many valuable life skills and gained so much confidence. I gained many acting skills through the workshops in inverness and they helped expand my knowledge of theatre. Throughout the process of rehearsing the play I formed many long lasting friendships. I really enjoyed the whole process and will definitely do it again! Thank you for helping us all take part.

Best reagards


The trip to Inverness was amazing, we got to work with new people and we took part in workshops, we also got to see four other national theatre performances; one of which was performing the same play as us (variations) it was so cool seeing how another group had worked on the play and had different ideas. Huge thanks to the arts council for the help. So thankful that we have been given this amazing opportunity to take part in the National theatre connections festival.


I can’t speak highly enough or thank you and the Youth Arts Centre enough for allowing me to take part in NT Connections. This project gave me so much more confidence in myself and what I can achieve in life. David is always there for us and to help us learn new areas of theatre and arts. This experience being involved with different people and getting to work with NT directors is so awesome. It has helped my outlook on life and career options.



To the Isle Of Man Arts Council,

The trip was absolutely incredible and it is something I am never going to forget. I feel like it brought us all closer as a group and I am forever thankful for that. The trip really gave me a new perspective on this cast, as usually i'd see them about four hours a week, and then going to live with them for the most part of a week is certainly a change, but one I am grateful for. The acting skills and lessons we learned along the way have been impressive and i'm sure we will find them useful, especially later on in life, and for those of us who are considering certain aspects of theatre and acting for future careers. 


A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government