National Theatre and HOME presents

NT Connections 2023: Day 3

Greater Manchester’s youth theatres, schools and colleges perform here at HOME in the National Theatre’s Connections festival, a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts.

Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.

All shows begin at 19.00 unless stated, and the running order is decided on the night.

Keep checking this page for ticketing information and show updates.

Hopwood Hall College
Model Behaviour by Jon Brittain 

When Mr Smallwood announces that his Politics Year Group are going to spend an entire day role playing what it’s like to be a delegate at the United Nations, the keenest pupil in the class, Ronni, is delighted. Everyone else in the class isn’t and they quickly exhibit their contempt for the project.

What should be one of Ronni’s most memorable days at school – a personal triumph as she displays her diplomatic and intellectual prowess, for the benefit of the whole of humanity – instead looks set to explode into a thermo-nuclear car crash of a day.

A fast-paced comic, white-knuckle-ride through the rollercoaster of personal (playground) politics played out against the backdrop of the world stage.

Jon Brittain is a playwright, television writer and director. His plays include Rotterdam (Evening Standard Charles Wintour nomination for Most Promising Playwright; Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre) at Theatre503, Trafalgar Studio, 59E59 in New York and the Arts Theatre in the West End; Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho (also director) at the Edinburgh Festival and in the West End; Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) (also on tour; Fringe First Award) at the Edinburgh Festival. As director, work includes Baby Reindeer (Olivier and Fringe First winning production); and John Kearns’ Fosters Award-winning shows Sight Gags for Perverts and Shtick. He has also directed shows for many other comedians including Tom Allen and Tom Rosenthal. He was a staff writer on series three of The Crown and is currently developing A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) for TV.


The 6th Form Bolton
Strangers Like Me by Ed Harris

Elbow’s best friend, Hamster, has unexpectedly died. Everyone expects Elbow to be grieving… right?  But Elbow isn’t sure how to do it.

Privately, Elbow is beginning to feel they weren’t even as close as everyone makes out. It would be better if everyone just left Elbow alone – his mum, dad, stupid big brother, Donut, but especially all those annoying kids at school pretending they really care by writing poems, singing songs and holding a vigil at Elbow and Hamster’s favourite meeting place. Who do they think they are?

Elbow doesn’t know. He just has a strange feeling inside – an absence of feeling at all.

Ed Harris is an award-winning, dyslexic playwright, poet and comedy writer based in Brighton. Before finding his feet as a writer, Ed Harris was a binman, care worker and even spent a winter as a husky trainer in Lapland. Plays include Mongrel Island at Soho Theatre and in Mexico (as Perro Sin Raza); and The Cow Play, What the Thunder Said (Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play for Younger Audiences) and Never Ever After (shortlisted for the Meyer-Whitworth award). He wrote his first opera, A Shoe Full of Stars (YAM Award in 2018 for Best Opera), with composer Omar Shahryar.

Radio includes Porshia, Dot, The Resistance of Mrs Brown (Sony Gold/Radio Academy Award), Troll (Writers’ Guild Award), and Billions (BBC Audio Drama Award). He is a Royal Literary Fellow and has recently been awarded an Arts Council grant to write his first children’s novel, The Night Is Large. Ed Harris will also be adapting a season of Kafka’s novels for radio and stage for both BBC Radio 4 and Oxford University’s Global Kafka Festival, commemorating the centenary of Franz Kafka’s death in 2024.


2 hours and 20 minutes

Strangers Like Me 

Recommended for ages 14+

Play explores responses to the death of a friend of the lead character (unseen, offstage).

Strong language is used.

In a non-naturalistic scene, one character – who is the embodiment of part of the lead character’s psyche – has their tongue ripped out. It is then reattached later in the play.

Model Behaviour

Suitable for all ages, moderate language used.