Cornish schoolchildren will have chance to perform in front of national audiences this month when they are given the honour of closing a prestigious youth festival in London's South Bank.

Hall for Cornwall Youth Theatre is one of only ten youth theatre groups from around the UK to have been selected to stage a new play at the 2019 National Theatre Connections Festival, which takes place in the Dorfman Theatre from June 25 to 29.

The Truro-based group will perform the final play of the festival, in the 8.30pm slot on Saturday, June 29.

The young actors will perform The Sad Club, a new piece of writing by Luke Barnes with music by Adam Pleeth.

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

They first performed the play at the festival’s partner theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth. HFC Youth Theatre is the Hall For Cornwall’s flagship programme for developing young performers. With four youth theatre companies starting from age six, the team currently works with more than 120 young people each week.

Led by Simon Harvey and Helen Tiplady, who direct and choreograph the work, they focus on ensemble skills, including devising, scripted work, physicality and performance.

Connections is the largest youth theatre festival in the UK, which celebrates new writing for young people aged 13 to 19.

Ten new plays by both established and emerging playwrights including Ben Bailey Smith, Lajaune Lincoln, Katherine Soper and Dawn King have been commissioned exclusively for young people to stage and perform at this year’s festival.

More than 6,500 young people took part in the early stages of the festival this year, with the ten plays being premiered by 273 youth theatre companies and schools across the UK. Ten companies were then chosen to perform at the National Theatre, of which Truro is one.

Young people are involved with all aspects of creating and staging the play and take on a variety of backstage and off-stage roles, from operating lights and sound to set and costume design and stage management.

Helen Tiplady, leader of Hall for Cornwall Youth Theatre, said: “We cannot wait to perform at the National Theatre. HFC Youth Theatre are bursting with pride that we get to come up to London from Cornwall and let everyone know that we’re all part of The Sad Club.

“It feels like a really important piece and message to be sharing, so we are delighted to be representing the work.”

Tickets cost £5 and are on sale now at