Young performers at the Belgrade Theatre are drawing inspiration from climate activists like Greta Thunberg with their new production Like There’s No Tomorrow.
Young performers at the Belgrade Theatre are drawing inspiration from climate activists like Greta Thunberg with a brand new play developed on commission through the National Theatre’s NT Connections project, which provides exciting opportunities for young people from across the country to perform in original plays.
Showing on the Belgrade’s B2 Stage from 9 – 14 March, Like There’s No Tomorrow will address urgent concerns about the climate crisis through the eyes of a teenage girl called Maru.
It marks the first time that NT Connections has commissioned a play written by, as well as for, a group of young people, with the Belgrade’s own Young Company currently devising the show with the support of expert theatre practitioners.
Maru’s parents have worked hard for their money and earned their right to a little comfort: the latest mobile phone, a new dress for the party, a second car.
But the pollution in the air is becoming so bad that now Maru can hardly breathe, and she can’t bear that no one can see the connection. To add insult to injury, the local mayor is now planning to build on the park that she played in as a child.
When a mysterious crack appears through the middle of Maru’s hometown, someone has to sit up and take notice…
Set up to bring together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow, NT Connections commissions ten new plays for young people to perform each year, working with 300 youth theatre companies and over 6000 young people from every corner of the country.
In a break from the usual process, which sees established writers commissioned to create new plays for young people to perform, Like There’s No Tomorrow has been developed through a process of research and devising, with young participants supported tell their own story.
After the play’s opening run in Coventry in March, the final script will be submitted to the National Theatre in May, after which it may be selected as one of ten plays offered up nationwide to other youth groups to perform at NT Connections in 2021.
Like There’s No Tomorrow is co-directed by Justine Themen and Claire Procter, with Sebbie Mudhai and Jules Chan as assistant directors. The play has been devised by the company with Liz Mytton as wordsmith, Ola Animashawun as dramaturg and Una May Olomolaiye as songsmith and singing coach. Set design is by Janet Vaughan, lighting is by Adam Warren and the creative producer is Hannah Barker.
Casting for the show includes Kaji-Hausa Oluwasemilore as Maru, Seyi Olomolaiye as Asha, Femi Themen as Fin, Sachin Sharma as Bobby Brunt, Ifeolu Olomolaiye as Mum, Tillmann Osici as Dad, Emma Gibson as Older Sibling and Georgie Gibson as Younger Sibling. Jess Lake, Kimberly Musa, Lugman Mwalim and Yolande Thompson complete the ensemble cast.
Like There’s No Tomorrow shows at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from Monday 9 until Saturday 14 March. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are cheaper.