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Cap-a-Pie & Barbara Priestman Academy at National Theatre

June 13th, 2016


Image - what are they like

Image - what are they likeA couple of weeks ago, we received some truly exciting news:

Cap-a-Pie is heading to the National Theatre in London!

A show directed by Artistic Director Brad McCormick will be performed at the Dorfman Theatre in late June as part of the NT Connections Festival.

For the past four years, Cap-a-Pie has worked with Barbara Priestman Academy in Sunderland on NT Connections, a nationwide scheme run by the National Theatre that involves over 10,000 young people from around the country.

Each year, the National commissions 12 new plays for young people. Schools and youth theatres from around the country choose one of the plays to rehearse and perform in two locations: first at their home base and then at a partner theatre. So for us, that was Northern Stage in Newcastle.

After that, the National selects one version of each of the 12 plays to be performed in London.

And this year, our play is one of those versions to be selected!

The show we made with the students at Barbara Priestman Academy is called What Are They Like? by Lucinda Coxon. In it, the actors play parents of teenage children who are speaking about their parenting experience. It’s a really clever concept with some incredibly funny and profound moments.

What makes it especially pleasing to have been selected (apart from the fact that we were chosen out of 500 companies participating) is that the production is very simple. It has very few technical elements and relies on the brilliant performances of the actors who have to address the audience in a very open and honest way. They’ve also developed a fantastic sense of ensemble and are always working for and with each other on and off-stage. We’re absolutely over the moon for them to have this opportunity to perform in such a beautiful space. We’ve been told that the actors were over the moon as well and that even a few happy tears were shed when they were told.

We’re back in the rehearsal room in a couple of weeks to get the play back on its feet and ready for London. A few tweaks might be made but overall we’re keen to keep the same honesty and simplicity that got us there in the first place.

What Are They Like? will be performed by Barbara Priestman Academy at Dorfman Theatre on 28th June at 7pm. Tickets – £5 from

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