Being approached by The Lowry, earlier in the year, to empower young carers to have a voice and share their experiences through theatre, has been rewarding on so many levels both personally and professionally. As company director for Stone Soup, we have developed a strong working relationship with The Lowry, over a number of years, so was really proud to be considered to take the lead in developing this new piece of theatre.
Meeting the young people for the first time, back in July, was the start of a very exciting and dynamic journey. The group was made up of 10 young carers from Salford Young Carers and 10 young people from Gorse Hill Studios, all having different life experiences and understanding of the devising process. Some of the young people had never even been to the theatre, let alone perform on a stage – so I have been very mindful to ensure the group are supported and understand what’s happening at each step of the way.
During the past few months, I’ve been very privileged to witness young people, be articulate about issues that affect them as young carers, young people who support and nurture each other and young people who have grown in confidence as they’ve taken ownership of the production ‘Behind Closed Doors.’ Everyone has been driven, in a way I have never experienced before, to raise awareness on the issues Young Carers face on a daily basis from Salford Young Carers to The Lowry to Lung Theatre, that in itself is what has made this project so special.
The story, which has been created follows the character of James, whose life is turned upside down when his Mum has a life changing accident at work. Unsure where or who to turn to, James has to quickly adapt to his new life: learning new skills, juggling the pressures of school and facing the challenges of being a young person. His close friend Daisy tries to reach out and support him, but breaking his trust maybe a step too far.
The 22nd November will create life memories for so many people, giving an important insight into the lives of young carers, via both productions ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and ‘Who Cares?’, produced by Lung Theatre. A big thank you goes out to: The Lowry, Salford Young Carers, Gorse Hill Studios and Lung Theatre.
Written by Lee Brennan, Company Director at Stone Soup.