Leeds youth theatre members to perform in Parliament

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Young actors from Leeds are to take their production about cyber-bullying to the Houses of Parliament.

Members of West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Youth theatre will perform a section of Girls Like That in Westminster on Monday, January 20, as part of a new campaign around the mental health of children and young people.

Youth Theatre member Mabel Goulden said: “I think it’s great to have teens share their opinions at Parliament – not only so we can feel heard and listened to, but also because everyone can hear what we have to say about a world which belongs to us just as much as it belongs to adults and politicians.”

The play, which was written by Evan Placey in collaboration with the young people involved, shows the consequences when teenagers and technology collide.

It tells the story of Scarlett, a young girl whose naked photograph is sent around school, and examines the pressures facing young teenagers today and issues around body image and cyber-bullying.

Monday’s performance is at an event organised by charity Young Minds at the launch of a campaign calling for change around mental health issues affecting young people, such as sexual pressures, unemployment and school stress.

Youth Theatre director Gemma Woffinden said: “We are very proud to be part of this event, and that the high quality performance work of our Youth Theatre is to be celebrated in such a way that we can support a valuable campaign that acknowledges the challenges faced by young people today.”

West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining added: “Our Youth Theatre is very much in its infancy, but it is already creating an outstanding reputation for making work dealing with matters of real importance to young people.”

Tanya Skelly. Picture: Adrian Murray

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