A student from Barnet has been shortlisted in a national competition.

Sixteen-year-old student Emily Shurmer from The Jewish Community State School in New Barnet was shortlisted for the National Theatre’s annual playwriting competition for 14-19-year olds and will have her play read by professional actors as part of New Views Festival in July.

Emily’s original play Personal Statements was one of nine plays shortlisted from 350 entries across the UK by a panel of judges including playwright Chris Bush, NT Associate Director Lyndsey Turner, NT Senior Dramaturg Nina Steiger, and NT Connections Dramaturg Ola Animashawun.

Personal Statements explores how the media onslaught affects young people. Nick is applying to a university but finds himself struggling to define who he is because the constant barrage of negative news has left him feeling hopeless, out of control and despairing.

Emily said: “Writing a play wasn’t something I found easy, so it is New Views that I can thank for the end result. I’m incredibly glad I took part, because without that push, I would never have been driven to complete such a project. Being able to say I wrote a play makes me proud.”

Chris Bush, playwright and member of the judging panel said: “New Views is without doubt one of the most important things the National Theatre does. It targets young people at a crucial age where they’re just starting to give serious thought to where their working lives might take them. I can think of no better introduction to the theatre, or the arts in general, than to have your debut play performed at the National.”

Performances of the winning play If Not Now, When? will take place on Monday, July 1, at 4.30pm and 7.30pm, and on Tuesday, July 2, at 1pm in the Dorfman Theatre.

Rehearsed readings of the other eight shortlisted plays will also take place on Monday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 2, in the Dorfman Theatre.