Theatre piece about teenage relationships to tour Northamptonshire schools

Corby's theatre is to put together a piece of work about teenage relationships and tour schools across the county.
Corby's theatre is to put together a piece of work about teenage relationships and tour schools across the county.

Corby’s theatre is to put together a piece of work about teenage relationships and tour schools across the county.

The Core at Corby Cube has been commissioned by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner to tour the piece of theatre about intimate teenage relationships to secondary schools across the county, which will be followed up by workshops.

Nationally young people under 18 are now recognised as being at risk of or experiencing abuse within their relationships.

Young people in Northamptonshire have told police commissioner Adam Simmonds (through the previous large scale consultation focused on online safety) that they are facing issues within intimate relationships between each other, as boyfriend or girlfriend, at an increasingly younger age.

As part of a further consultation with 12 to 18-year-olds, this new piece of theatre will tour to about 20 secondary schools.

The play has been written and devised in collaboration with Highly Sprung, a Coventry theatre company which specialises in young people’s work and which uses a strong physical and visual style to help communicate difficult ideas and emotions.

The performances will be supported by follow up workshops by Service Six, a specialist provider of therapeutic, support, diversionary and activity services for thousands of hard to reach children, young people, adults and families.

The drama focuses on the beginning of a new relationship where a teenager is increasingly controlled by her boyfriend, who is himself a victim of insecurities and anxieties.

It explores how this impacts on Louise’s close friendship with another boy, and follows her difficulty in knowing what is or is not a healthy relationship.

The project started its fortnight tour at the beginning of November, with the workshops being completed later in the month.

An evaluation of the impact of the project, and presentation of learning, will take place at The Core in March 2016.

Director of The Core Nick Walker said: “Issue-based theatre has been going into schools for many years, but with the nature of relationships changing, we were specifically interested in looking at the online world, alongside particular issues of how young people recognise healthy relationships.

“The important thing is to start a series of conversations, and offer support for anyone who might need it.”

Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The aim of this consultation is to fully understand the size of the issues teens are facing in relationships in Northamptonshire, and to understand who young people currently speak to and seek support from when having negative experiences.

“We will ensure young people’s views and experiences influence the delivery of the Northamptonshire Children and Young People’s victims service that is currently being commissioned, so that services are tailored to needs and offer the best possible form of support.”