Performing Arts BTEC students have performed a show based on love and gender identity as part of the National Theatre Connections project.
Pronoun, written by Evan Placey, tells the story of Isabella and Josh, childhood sweethearts who plan to spend their gap year together. But then Isabella turns into a boy, Dean.
The show also touches on issues including sexuality, parenting, self-harm, tolerance and self-acceptance.
Speaking after the matinee performance on Thursday the cast, who worked on the production as an extra-curricular project, praised the quality of the play.
"Transgender issues are still something of a taboo subject and we were proud to be performing in work that makes people think," said Danny Meechan, who plays James Dean.
Billie-Marie Fox, who plays Dean, said: "The story is sensitive, but it’s funny too. Essentially, it’s a love story between two people and the transgender issues become almost a backdrop.
"You don’t always know how the audience is going to react, but to see people crying and laughing makes you realise how powerful the production is."
Jack Binstead, who appears as Kyle, added: "We worked really hard and we’d wanted a play that challenged us all. The characters all have their own stories and change and grow throughout the play."
The cast, comprising first and second-year Level 3 students, auditioned for parts in October and performed Pronoun at Nescot on Wednesday and Thursday, with a further show planned for Soho on May 2.
They also praised directors Gavin Maxwell and Leanne Bentley, designer Clair Prime and assistant directors Arnold Lumu and Liam James Jones.
Evan Placey is an award-winning British-Canadian playwright and is Creative Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Southampton and also teaches playwriting at theatres and in prisons.
The National Theatre Connections project is an annual competition that sees young people up and down the country choose one of ten plays to perform. One version of each show is then chosen to be showcased at the National Theatre in July.