In conjunction with MYA, our Year 13 Drama students performed a piece of Theatre in Education called, ‘That’s not me’. The play, which was written to raise awareness of mental health, was performed to whole year groups in year 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13. The results of the questionnaires distributed to students after the performance revealed that the play had had a massive impact on their understanding.
70% of the audience felt that the play had had a positive effect on their mental health, with 28% feeling unsure.
75% felt more confident to talk about mental health with their friends after watching the performance and 93% said that using performance was a good way to talk about mental health. More importantly, 85% said they would like to see more of the same in the future.
Here are two comments from year 7 students:
‘It made me think about bullying and how unfair it is to get bullied. I’ve been bullied in Year 4 and it’s horrible. I like the way the kid got help and change his life.’
‘We learned that everyone has mental health and it has to be looked after, just like our physical health’
Now Festival Performance: February
Y13 Performance at the Epstein theatre!
Following these performances, some ‘tweaks’ were made by the students before their final performance on the stage of The Epstein theatre in Liverpool. Our school pupils had really been affected by the father/son relationship in the play, so our students spent some time in their final rehearsal period making sure that the message of emotional well- being came through the family scenes.
The response to our boys’ performance on the night was phenomenal. Members of the audience approached the students and Ms Forrest on the night to express their awe at the play the boys had written and how they had performed it. Comments such as: ‘it was an amazing performance- I have never seen anything like it.’
A group of elderly women on the front row were moved to tears with the emotion and a lecturer in Education from Edge Hill University said that the piece should be shown to teachers and trainee teachers.
The boys themselves were overwhelmed by the experience:
‘It’s incredible to know how far we’ve come since we first started, what with all the disagreements and changes, we were able to create and showcase an amazing piece of Drama. Working as a team and being able to perform in complete synchronicity, supporting each other and acting on the stage at the Epstein made us want to perform even more to other audiences. We want to get across the message that mental health can really destroy a person’s inner self. In the beginning we did think ‘that’s not us’ but now after this performance, this is who we are now; a strong, confident and amazing Drama group’.
Two members of the audience also wrote to Mrs. Graham about how impressed they were and we were flattered that Gary Millar, also sent a very complimentary tweet out after the show.
In the last few days, the boys have been approached to ask if they would be willing to tour the piece around local schools; a real honour and testament to their hard work.