Actress pens play tackling domestic violence

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An actress has gone behind the scenes to write her first play - tackling the subject of domestic violence.

Francesca Joy, 25, hopes to raise awareness of the issue which costs society £5.5billion each year.

Picture James Hardisty. S Scriptwriter Francesca Joy, 25.

Picture James Hardisty. S Scriptwriter Francesca Joy, 25.

She has won Arts Council funding to take her drama workshops into prisons, in a bid to improve communication skills for people leaving jail.

Her play ‘You forgot the mince’ is to be performed as a rehearsed reading at Slung Low theatre company’s The Hub venue in Holbeck, on April 10. She plans to take the production on a nationwide tour.

She said: “Domestic abuse comes in lots of different forms. I know far too many people who have suffered from it and want to try and raise awareness and make a difference through theatre.

“I spent 12 months researching the themes and links between domestic violence, unemployment, reoffending and lack of communication.”

I know far too many people who have suffered from it and want to try and raise awareness and make a difference

Francesca Joy, 25, who has written first play

Francesca, who lives in Armley but comes from Castleford, is also an actress but is honing her writing skills, after studying a scriptwriting course at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

She plays the lead role, along with three other actors in her theatre company Imagine Theatre, which has recently won charitable status. Francesca is the executive director of the company.

She has also received funding from Leeds Inspired and works with the Jigsaw education centre at Armley jail, where she will run drama workshops.

Leeds writer Mark Catley has been her mentor.

She said: “I will also take it into HMP Leeds up to 10 weeks before prisoners’ release with drama based workshops, using drama as a tool to improve social skills, conscious and unconscious choices, self belief and self love to aid their resettlement and reduce their chance of re offending and improve their chance of securing employment.

“Drama can open up a whole new world of experiences for people who may have struggled with communication skills. I am also making contact with employers who are open to offering employment to ex-offenders.”

She said the aims of her theatre company are to educate the public about the causes and consequences of social and economic disadvantage through artistic performances and workshops.

Tickets for the rehearsed reading performance at The Hub on April 10, at 4pm, are free but must be reserved. For more details email Francesca on: chescatennant4@hotmail.com.

The cost to the criminal justice system is £1.2 billion a year. The cost of health treatment resulting from domestic violence, (including hospital, GP, ambulance, prescriptions) is £1.7 billion a year. The cost to the social services is £0.28 billion. Housing costs are estimated at £0.19 billion. The cost of civil legal services due to domestic violence is £0.38 billion.

Contact Women’s Aid 24 hour helpine 0800 2000 247.

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