REMOVED GIVES A VOICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES OF THE NI SOCIAL CARE SYSTEM
30 October 2019
Clanmil Housing Group welcomed local people to short performances of part of the play 'Removed' at the Lillian Bland Centre on the Ballyclare Road, STEP: The Junction in Dungannon,, the Curzon Apartments on the Ormeau road and Bessbrook Community Centre Newry, followed by a post-show discussions.
Michael Brady MP, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew, Clare McCarty Clanmil Group Chief Executive, Sintija Jaunslaviete, Voices For Young People In Care (VOYPIC), Fionnuala Kennedy, The Playwright, Vanessa Haynes, Barnardo's NI and Judith from Home For Good, at Bessbrook Community Centre
Written by Fionnuala Kennedy, 'Removed' is the latest play by award-winning, Belfast based theatre company Prime Cut Productions. It tells the story of Adam, a young person who has grown up in the Northern Irish Social Care system.
"Adam is OK to share his story - really it's alright - it's OK that his life was turned upside down - and the social workers were nice, kinda - and the foster homes, well... and his baby brother Joe?"
'Removed' is based on interviews with young people with care experience who shared their personal stories with the playwright in collaboration with Voice Of Young People In Care (VOYPIC).
Fionnuala Kennedy said: 'Going into the interviews, my knowledge of the care system was really limited. Your ideas are informed by things you've overheard or assume. So we just started from the beginning: when young people are taken into care- that day or night or moment when you're removed from the familiar and brought into a system where it's difficult to have autonomy over your life, because, as a child, things are decided for you'.
Fionnuala continues: "The play is dedicated to all those making the lives of young people in care better - to the staff of VOYPIC and the many other organisations working with these young people, those incredible foster and adoptive parents who change lives every day, the social workers (the good ones!) navigating the system, but mostly, to those extraordinary young people who gave me their time and shared their stories, who are utterly inspiring and making a huge difference for children in care now, and in the future".
Clanmil Housing, Barnardo's NI, Home For Good and Arts & Business NI have partnered with Prime Cut Productions to deliver a series of free workshops, smaller performances of the show and post-show discussions exploring what it really means to be 'in care' and the realities of fostering.
Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil Housing said: "At Clanmil we believe that everyone should have a good home where they feel safe and valued. We know that for some people that may be with a loving foster family who can provide the stability and support they need to thrive.
"By telling the story of young people in care, the 'Removed' play provides a window to their experiences that can help more people understand the difference that fostering and adoption can make in someone's life. We also hope that the performances and workshops will make people think seriously about whether they could offer a home to a young person who needs one."
Following a run at the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Babaro International Arts Festival in Galway in October, Northern Ireland audiences will get a chance to watch Removed before it heads to Philadelphia where it has been selected to be one of only two shows from the island of Ireland to feature in the renowned IPAY showcase.
Actor, Conor O'Donnell will deliver the intimate monologue at The Strand Arts Centre, Belfast; The Alley in Strabane, The Braid in Ballymena and Down Arts Centre in Downpatrick.
Tickets for Removed are available from The Strand Arts Centre The Braid Alley Theatre and Down Arts Centre
To book Removed Workshops visit Eventbrite http://bit.ly/Removedworkshop
or contact Bobbi-Rai@primecutproductions.co.uk