New views for Westminster
New Views - the National Theatre's annual playwriting competition for 15- to 19-year-olds - started out in 2008 as a small programme for a handful of London sixth-formers keen to write their own 30-minute plays. Four years later, it attracts entries from hundreds of young people at schools and colleges around the country.
Now it is breaking new ground. This year's winning play - Re-Write by 17-year-old Tosin Omosebi from Southall in Middlesex - which was chosen from 175 entries, is to be performed on 11 July at Westminster Hall as part of the Arts in Parliament festival. It will be the first time a production has been staged there in the hall's 900-year history. There will be further performances at the National Theatre on 12 and 13 July.
Tosin's darkly comic play focuses on two characters who are convicted for murder and incarcerated in a secure psychiatric hospital. Their lives are about to be "rewritten" by doctors. Tosin said: "I wrote it because I got interested in what motivates people to commit crimes - and whether they can really change."
Students in the New Views programme follow an online playwriting course and have online contact with and guidance from some of the UK's leading playwrights. And it's not too early to sign up for next year's programme.
Book free tickets for the Westminster performance at www.parliament.ukget-involvedarts-in-parliamentwhats-on-programmenew-views. For more information on the scheme, see www.new-views.tv.