The background to our playwriting workshop is all too relevant to what’s happening all over the world, with the suffering of refugees bringing it home to us every day.
Playwrights Sarah Hehir and Sam Hall devised ‘Safe + Sound’ when working together earlier this year on The id Project – a playwriting project for young women in Medway. It became clear during this project – where the group of young women aged from 14-18 wrote a play which covered areas such as grooming, sexual health and bullying – that a really good way to engage young people with topical issues was to use creative writing and drama.
Both Sarah and Sam had written topical plays. In addition to existing theatre enthusiasts, they wanted to reach individuals who might be at risk of the issues the plays tackle: Sarah’s play, Child Z, deals with child sexual exploitation and was inspired by the Rochdale grooming scandal; Sam’s play, My Mind is Free, deals with another issue at the forefront of the news, human trafficking. They knew it was important that these plays were brought before a Medway audience, to start raising awareness of both of the issues in an area of high risk.
They applied for funding for ‘Safe + Sound’ from the Kent Commissioner’s Fund and were delighted to receive the funding to be able to bring the plays to Chatham, linked to the Rochester Literature Festival. Child Z was performed to a sold-out audience at The Brook Theatre, Chatham on 17 June 2015. My Mind is Free will be performed as the final event as part of the Rochester Literature Festival on 11 October. As part of the project they have also been running a number of creative writing workshops – the next free workshop is part of the festival on 10 October, 1-3pm at the Guildhall Museum. Book your place here.