A Cockermouth youth theatre group has been selected by the National Theatre in London to take part in their Connections scheme which showcases acting talent.

The Kirkgate Youth Theatre group will be a part of the NT Connections, getting the chance to perform a specially commissioned play in front of a National Theatre director at the Kirkgate Centre, then performing again at Theatre By The Lake.

10 acting groups from all over the country will be asked to perform their play in London at the National Theatre festival.

Youth Theatre leader Letitia Thornton said: "I'm so excited that we have been selected to take part in NT Connections. When I saw the link about it I thought this is a fantastic opportunity."

Kara Burrough, 15, who has been a member of Kirkgate Youth Theatre for six years said: "Tish asked us if we wanted to participate in the National Theatre Connections and we were keen to have a go as it sounds like a great opportunity.

"I'm looking forward to working with a NT Connections director and I like the look of the play by John Donelly the best so far to perform, it's about how we define ourselves in public and how that is shaped by the fear of saying the wrong thing, but there are three plays that I haven't seen yet."

Morgan Goodfellow, 17 said: "I think we’re all excited about taking part in the NT connection play. It will be something new for the theatre team to work on. I hope we can do it justice and enjoy the work."

The chance to work with the National Theatre is going to be a rewarding experience, but is also likely to be hard work for the acting group.

Ms Thornton said: "I think it's going to be really hard work and will push them, though it is exciting."

Once the youth theatre has selected the play that they would like to perform Letitia will attend a directors weekend in London, where she will meet the playwrite and other National Theatre members.

The youth theatre will then do their play at the Kirkgate Arts Centre in front of a NT Connections director who will provide feedback notes, which should be incorporated into their next show at their partner theatre - the Theatre By The Lake in Keswick.

Nationally 300 youth theatres are selected to perform the plays and are given support by the core Connections team.

Groups will be selected by the Connections team, directors and writers and invited to perform at the National Theatre festival in London.