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12 Apr 2024

NT Connections: The Sad Club & Back in the Day

The Sad Club

by Luke Barnes

with music by Adam Pleeth

performed by Spotlights Community Youth Theatre

This is a musical about depression and anxiety. It’s a collection of monologues, songs and duologues from all over time and space exploring what about living in this world stops us from being happy and how we might go about tackling those problems.


Luke Barnes is an award-winning writer.

Credits include: Freedom Project (Leeds Playhouse), All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Bush Theatre & Paines Plough with Middle Child), No One Will Tell Me When To Start A Revolution (Hampstead Theatre), Chapel Street (Bush Theatre), Bottleneck (Soho Theatre with HighTide), The Jumper Factory (Young Vic, HOME, and Bristol Old Vic), Lost Boys (Unity with National Youth Theatre), Cinderella – A Wicked Mother F*cker of a Night Out (James Seabright & Not Too Tame), Katie Johnstone (The Orange Tree), The Saints (Nuffield Theatres, Southampton), Eistedfodd (HighTide), There Should Be Unicorns (London International Festival with Middle Child), Ten Storey Love Song (Hull Truck with Middle Child), Weekend Rockstars (Hull Truck with Middle Child), A Wondrous Place (Manchester Royal Exchange/ Northern Stage/Unity/Crucible, Sheffield), The Class (The Unicorn with NYT), and Loki and Betty (Almeida Theatre). TV; Minted In Manchester (Original Single for Channel 4).

Adam Pleeth is a composer and musician who has worked across plays, musicals and dance. As a composer, his works include The Elephantom (National Theatre & West End); The Sad Club (National Theatre Connections); James and the Giant Peach (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Pitcarn (Shakespeare’s Globe & Chichester Festival Theatre); This May Hurt a Bit (Out of Joint); Wolves in the Walls and Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (Little Angel Theatre); Laika (Unicorn Theatre); The Hartlepool Monkey (Gyre & Gimble, UK tour); Ballad of the Burning Star and Juana in a Million (Theatre Ad Infinitum); Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Youth Theatre of Wales); The Adventures of Curious Ganz (Silent Tide/Little Angel Theatre) and Time Stands Still When I Think of You (The Place)


Venue: Studio

Date: 12 Apr

Time: 7pm (includes both performances)

Running time: 2.5hrs (inc 30 min interval)

Recommended for ages: 13+

Content Warnings:  themes of mental health, strong language, references to sex and underage drinking




Back in the Day

by Yasmeen Khan

performed by Denny High School Drama Club

A group of classmates are charged with the responsibility of being their school’s well-being champions. In a freak occurrence they are transported back to the ’80s via an impromptu and heavily improvised roller disco. Here they discover they’re not the only ones with skeletons in the cupboard, and there was more to the 80s than glitterballs and strange haircuts.


Yasmeen Khan is an award-winning radio presenter, writer and performer based in London with roots in West Yorkshire. Yasmeen writes comedy and drama and very much enjoys the space between the two.  Screenwriting includes BBC Eastenders, with over twenty episodes written to date. Yasmeen loves life  behind the mic. Alongside hundreds of hours of live programming on national and local radio, she presents documentaries on BBC Radio 4 across a wide variety of topics.

Yasmeen’s theatre writing has been produced nationally, with a specialism in comedy-drama. During  lockdown, her northern and British Asian focussed digital adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest  earned a five-star review from The Stage. She also co-wrote Going The Distance, a streaming production  about a struggling community theatre, starring Matthew Kelly, Shobna Gulati and Sarah Hadland.

She regularly hosts Q&As and panel discussions at theatres including The National. Her current writing  includes development for two new plays


Venue: Studio

Date: 12 Apr 2023

Time: 7pm (includes both performances)

Running time: 2.5hrs (inc 30 min interval)

Recommended for ages: 13+

Content Warnings: one moment of strong language




National Theatre Connections

National Theatre Connections 2024 draws together ten new plays for young people – aged between 13 and 19 – to perform, from some of the UK’s most talented and popular playwrights. These are plays for a  generation of theatre-makers who want to ask questions, challenge assertions, and test the boundaries, and for those who love to invent and imagine a world of possibilities. This year the National Theatre will be working with nearly 270 youth companies from all over the UK.

The plays offer young performers an engaging and diverse range of material to perform, read or study. Touching on themes like trans-rights, the mental health crisis, colonial history, disability activism, and climate change, the collection provides topical, pressing subject matter for students to explore.

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