Dear Sue

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‘Dear Sue!’ Youth Theatre project took place at the Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester. This project took a group of wonderful young people and exposed them to the amazing work of local lady Sue Townsend. Directed by Lorrine Douglas and assisted by Boston ‘The Orator’ Williams, this project empowered our participants to write and perform their own original theatre piece inspired by the works of Townsend. Angus Book Award recipient Bali Rai was a guest facilitator of the project on two occasions.

Dear Sue Youth Theatre

Dear Sue was a Youth Theatre Production presented by Opal22 Arts and Edutainment. To mark the incredible talent of Sue Townsend and some of her plays, the group have set their responses in the form of a play within a play. Discussing and exploring the themes and issues raised and finding relevance for young people in 2018. What has changed? What are we still concerned about? and what still needs to be accomplished and how? Can they be the champions of this to move things further forward? The play, `Womberang’, provides them with the chance to discuss their own birth stories and the potential journeys they are embarking on. Can they be a rebel and shake things up, like the character Rita, getting others to questions their lives and what is happening around them. `Groping for Words’, was written …” because I was angry about the high level of illiteracy in this country” Townsend 1996 Are these skills still in questions now? have things improved? and what still needs to be done? `…But there’s always hope ‘Townsend 1996. Using their own experiences and stepping into the different characters shoes, we remember how important this is and the pressures within a school and for young people with different learning needs. A workshop with another Leicester born writer, who cites Sue Townsend as a role model and inspiration, is Bali Rai. They were able to raise questions, seek answers and identify what inspires them and how they can inspire others. Finally, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 13 and 3/4 continues to entertain and make connections for all pre-teens and Tweenagers. But will they ever find the answers to survive these years! Dear Sue … hopes to entertain, educate and encourage your re-examination of a selection of the Leicester born writers work and to join us in celebrating her legacy and the reasons why her name adorns the theatre we sit in tonight. We hope you enjoy the presentation and the especially the support you will give the young people performing by being here. “I am from the working class. I am now what I was then. No amount of balsamic vinegar and Prada handbags could make me forget what it was like to be poor. ” Sue Townsend

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