Teenagers whose drama performances were cut short by the Covid crisis are making their debut on stage at the prestigious National Theatre.

It is the first time most of Barking’s Eastbury Drama Group will perform in public following the pandemic.

They are putting on a new play, Is This Good Enough?, in the annual Connections youth theatre festival at The National on the Southbank on June 21.

“I took part in the festival just before Covid,” Maama Affaidu revealed. “But we weren’t able to complete it due to lockdown.

“Now we have been chosen to perform at The National. I can’t wait to work with such professionals.” 

The festival, running to June 24, has 5,600 youngsters from all over the UK taking part.

The production by pupils from Eastbury Community School is one of 10 new plays for the festival and was first staged at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. 

Eastbury Drama’s Megan Ratcliff said: “The festival gives young people a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform on such a well-known stage. It lets them express themselves creatively and be listened to.” 

The 10 plays in the festival explore justice, grief, love, teamwork, friendship, the end of the world and the climate emergency.