By Miriam Battye. Presented by Perfect Circle Youth Theatre
Perfect Circle Youth Theatre are very happy to share their latest production, Miriam Battye’s Find A Partner, part of the 2021 National Theatre Connections project.
This year’s Connections (Perfect Circle’s 12th) is presented in unusual circumstances. We haven’t been able to rehearse face-to-face at our fantastic home venue Malvern Cube since early December, so we ran the whole project on Zoom.
Find A Partner is a game show parody in which competitors are forced to confront their willingness and capacity for love and relationships. If they don’t meet the show’s criteria for entertainment, they’re OUT! Nine local young actors have done an amazing job of bringing the characters to life and making sense of the narrative, even though we could not meet in person.
Find A Partner contains some strong language and may not be suitable for anyone under 12.
HAYLEY Natalie Ryan
BOY 3 Maya Cobban
SPECTATOR 1 Grace Horrocks
SPECTATOR 2 Niamh Mooney
MAX Gabi Connor
SAM F Anna Helder
JACOB James Willis
ELLA Tilly Collett
SAM M Alex Law
Director Lee Farley
Technical Support John Bannister
This is our 12th NT Connections project, and by far the most complex and unusual! We are huge fans of Connections, it has been the highlight of our youth theatre calendar since 2006 when we started the company. Shows like ‘Pronoun’, ‘Zero! For The Young Dudes’, and ‘Blank’ have inspired and challenged us – exactly what we wanted to happen when we started the company. The Directors’ weekend and support from the Connections team has been invaluable in our development as a company and as practitioners.
This year has been a huge challenge, but once more the Connections team have been supportive and positive, helping us through the various complexities. Our zoom version of ‘Find A Partner!’ is far from how we envisaged it when we first read it. We have a much smaller group than usual, and the cast have often struggled to make rehearsals and commit to the regular structure. Their schooling and their lives have been turned upside down. So we did our best – we cut characters, cut some dialogue, and had last-minute stand-in actors when people had to drop out. We decided to pre-record the show as there were difficulties with wi-fi connections, reliability, attendance, and interruptions!
I think the experience was still fun though, everyone liked the play and I hope we managed to find a small window of creativity twice a week during a grim winter. We had good feedback from our ‘home’ audience. I’m grateful to John for all his technical assistance.
Let’s hope we can perform our 2022 Connections show live in our home base and attend a regional festival for the first time since 2019!
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