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The Now Festival 2017

The vision for the festival came from a desire to engage young people in creative discussion around the topic of mental health. For many, creative arts are a way to express and challenge opinion concerning the things that matter most in society. With an estimated 1 in 4 people now experiencing some form of mental distress during their lifetime, the Now festival provided us with a platform from which to raise awareness, challenge stigma and explore ways of building resilience and improving mental health.

This year 20 Liverpool schools were involved and we were very proud that our students won the award for the play which best dealt with a complex and difficult subject.
Our school is very proud of the work that our sixth form students have produced during the course of the festival, as well as being extremely grateful to the Now Festival Team for making it possible.

Here are some details about the play they wrote and performed both in school and at The Epstein Theatre called ‘The Actual Truth’
With depression looming around the corner, arguments arising within his household and an unsuspected investment in his life from his Uncle, the world of teenager Chris is turned drastically upside down. Not knowing whether he can talk to his father now, he only has the trust of his uncle, who after one car journey on a gloomy evening, takes something that Chris can never have back; his pride. Not having anybody to turn to, Chris chooses the inevitable, whilst his Uncle faces the crown court for a life sentence over the person he truly is. Will the actual truth appear? What will happen to young Chris in this story about sexual abuse?
Our play is based upon the child right #34; “You have the right to be free from sexual abuse”.

James Douglas                                  Steven Fletcher                                Mateusz Pilski           

Here are some comments from the students about their experience:
‘The Now Festival was an absolute amazing experience. It made me think about the different issues theatre is able to tackle and what an influence a piece of theatre has on an audience member. I love performing and being on stage but it was a great feeling to know that I may have changed a person’s life and made them view society differently when leaving the theatre. The entire night was full of laughter, crying and applause. Emotions were certainly on a high but to be performing along-side amazing actors from all over Liverpool was certainly a privilege. The Now Festival crew team treated us like professional actors and certainly allowed us to improve our theatrical skills. I enjoyed every moment I was there!’

‘I really enjoyed the whole ‘Now’ festival experience all the way through as it helped grow my own understanding of mental health and in my own experience with my own piece I grew a greater understanding of the mental health of perpetrators and the survivors of their abuse. This understanding I believe I will greatly improve my own understanding of drama as a whole and has given me the confidence to take part and direct other serious pieces similar to it. All in all I found everyone involved to be very supportive and understanding of the play we were performing and were very open minded to our exploration of a child’s human right not be sexually abused. Due to this I believe we as a team got the most out of our performance which we couldn’t have done with less open minded support.

Now Festival 2017


West Derby School
364 West Derby Road
Liverpool L13 7HQ
Headteacher : Sian Graham Contact Member of Staff : Lorraine Rigby
Chair of Governors : Karen Callant SENCO : Helen Howe



How do you find us?

Travelling By Car: Visitor parking is off Bankfield Road
Travelling By Train: Broad Green/Wavertree Technology Park.
By Bus: From Liverpool city centre – Numbers 15, 13 and 12 routes

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