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Woodford Green student's original play to be read at National Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 June 2019

Emilia Hitching's play is to be read at the National Theatre. Picture: National Theatre

Emilia Hitching's play is to be read at the National Theatre. Picture: National Theatre

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An original play by a Woodford Green student has been shortlisted for the National Theatre's annual playwriting competition for 14 to 19-year-olds and will be read by professional actors as part of a festival in July.

The play by Emilia Hitching, 17 - a pupil at Bancroft's School, High Road - was one of nine plays shortlisted from 350 entries across the country to be performed at New Views festival next month.

In the play, called To Charlie, Rachel has not spoken to her mother in two years but has no one left to call when she enters hospital to give birth. Two intrinsically different women must co-exist, if only to keep up appearances for the midwife, to allow Rachel's baby to enter a family at peace.

This year's shortlisted plays introduce fresh perspectives on a wide range of contemporary issues including mental health, Brexit, fake news and relationships.

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Emilia said: "New Views has been a creative outlet for me during a fairly taxing first year of sixth-form and I have cherished the hours that I spent working on my script. It has been gratifying to have something which is solely mine, that I can pour all my creative energy into and polish not because it will be graded or examined but because I care about it."

Chris Bush, playwright and member of the judging panel, said: "New Views is, without doubt, one of the most important things the National Theatre does. It targets young people at a crucial age where they're just starting to give serious thought to where their working lives might take them.

"I can think of no better introduction to the theatre, or the arts in general, than to have your debut play performed at the National, and year-in year-out these writers prove they are unquestionably up to this challenge."

The winning play for this year's New Views programme is If Not Now, When? By Isabel Hague from CAPA College in Wakefield.

Her play will be staged at the National Theatre in a full production, alongside the rehearsed readings of the other eight shortlisted plays performed by professional actors.

Performances will take place on Monday, July 1 at 4.30pm and 7.30pm, and on Tuesday, July 2 at 1pm in the Dorfman Theatre.

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