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JCoSS student's lockdown play is picked out by National Theatre

Milly Bryk has one of the top entries in national playwrighting competition

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A year-eight student from JCoSS has had her play chosen as one of the top entries for a student competition run by the National Theatre.

Milly Bryk’s Life in Lockdown impressed the judges in the annual New Views contest for young playwrights from 14 to 19.

In normal times, the theatre picks a winning play to be staged at the prestigious venue.

But in the wake of the pandemic that has closed theatres, the organisers instead chose extracts from their favourite entries to feature in a social media campaign #NTNewViews.

When the schools closed in March, Milly shelved her original idea for the competition and wrote Life In Lockdown in just a few weeks.

Jane Ball, head of secondary education at the National Theatres said, “We think that Milly’s play is wonderful… It’s extraordinary she put it together so quickly and it reflects the young teenage experience of lockdown so fantastically. It’s a lovely, witty piece of writing and she should be really proud of it.”

Rebecca Kellaway, from the English department of the cross-communal school, explained, “Usually we only enter students in Years 10 to 13 for this competition and we are delighted that the marvellous Milly has been chosen.”

In the play, a character reflects, “I don’t need much; a bed, decent food, my friends to talk to me — a bit of quiet time in this world, where we are suffering from cabin fever.

“Please understand that I do need to sing at the top of my voice, dance when I have the vibe, be sarcastic, shout, scream and slam doors.”

JCoSS headteacher Patrick Moriarty said “Her ability to turn recent adversity into something so powerful and entertaining is very special. We take part in the competition every year but for such a young student to achieve so highly is fabulous.”

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