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Shows deal with knives and bullying

Powerful shows: Chickenshed Theatre was persuaded to come to the area by MP Tracy Brabin.
Powerful shows: Chickenshed Theatre was persuaded to come to the area by MP Tracy Brabin.

A theatre company that celebrates diversity recently brought its powerful shows to Batley and Spen.

Chickenshed, an award-winning organisation that specialise in thought-provoking theatre, visited the area after some persuasion by Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin.

The London-based company brought two theatre productions to Upper Batley High School.

The day began with its hard-hitting show Crime of the Century, inspired by the death of director Paul Morrell’s nephew in a knife crime incident.

Year nine students from Upper Batley, Batley Girls, Heckmondwike Grammar and BBG Academy watched the performance before taking part in an interactive workshop where they were tasked with identifying key themes and devising a rap.

The second performance of the day, watched by year six children from Hightown and Millbridge schools, saw the actors deliver an anti-bullying show entitled ‘Voices and Choices’.

Tracy Brabin said: “I’ve long been a fan of Chickenshed’s work and I’ve witnessed the huge impact it can have on people’s lives so I was over the moon when they agreed to bring their shows to Batley and Spen.

“It really is inspirational stuff, and the fact that their company is made up of actors of all ages, backgrounds and physical and mental abilities makes it all the more important. I was thrilled when the six schools agreed to come along and it was clear from how creative and receptive the children were in the subsequent workshops that they got a lot from it.

“It’s very important that we educate our young people on challenging subjects such as knife-crime and bullying , and presenting such demanding subject-matter in a creative and interactive way can really help them to engage.”