Inclusive. Interactive. Imaginative
Can I Go Out?
- 1st May 2008
Capturing the reality of life in Hackney for parents, children and young people, Can I Go Out? took a serious, yet engaging, look at what we can do to make a change.
In October 2007, Gainsborough Primary School Parents' Group invited writer Penny Cliff to run weekly after-school drama workshops in play-writing, devising and acting for parents and children. Can I Go Out? emerged out of the concerns of the participants and was developed through discussions and improvisations with those involved.
The play followed Ben and his family. Ben is being bullied at school by Kev and his gang but he can’t bring himself to tell his mum. The end of the play sees Ben taking matters into his own hands, confronting his problems with a knife.
The play reflected topics such as anxieties about street safety, the fear parents have for younger children and how older children may be ill-adapted to deal with greater independence as they move to secondary school.
Can I Go Out? was a forum play - after the performance, the audience were given the chance to respond to the story and to try out new ideas to resolve some of the issues raised.
It was first presented at Gainsborough Primary School in May 2008, before going on to tour other schools in the E9 area and appear at the Hackney Wick festival the following September.
What people thought about the show
“I’ve loved the project. I’m so pleased we’ve managed to take on board the concerns of the community and do something creative by opening it up for discussion using theatre.”
Carol Lewis-Baugh, Performer & Parent
“I was so happy to work with this unique group, which brought so much energy and enthusiasm to learning new skills, supporting each other and creating a lovely experience, both during the six month development process and in the production. “
Penny Cliff, Writer in Residence
“I’ve enjoyed doing this project because the subject is close to my heart.”
Mihaela Bilgetay, Perfomer & Parent
“It’s spectacular! I’ve had a lot of fun - meeting new people.”
Joseph Baugh, Performer & Pupil
“It made me feel I should think first before I do something.”
Young audience member
“I liked the way it was all put together. I liked it when people from the crowd came up and found a way to change things.”
Young audience member
“The validity of the storyline and the forum was a brilliant way to communicate between audience and actors.”
“The key message for us all is that, as parents and adults, we need to listen to our children when they really need to talk to us as well as just casual conversation.”
“The staff members from Sanctuary who attended the performance were really impressed with the event and how professional it was. There was a great use of different media and the forum approach was really innovative. We are pleased to have been able to support the project, particularly as it is a topic that is so important to our residents and to the local community.”
Meghan Zinkewich-Peotti, Sanctuary Housing Association