Ellesmere Port company Action Transport Theatre is taking an anti-homophobic bullying play into six schools in the area as part of a project supported by Essar Oil UK.
In collaboration with LGBT Youth North West the play, called Happily Ever After, is inspired by the Dutch children’s book King and King which tells the story of two princes who fall in love and live happily ever after.
The groundbreaking show was seen by more than 400 pupils from schools including Elton, St Bernard’s, Cambridge Road, St Saviours, Woodlands and Westminster.
The children who were aged between 7-11, also took part in workshops and discussions which aim to promote diversity.
Both teachers and families were given an information pack about dealing with the subject of homophobia and homophobic bullying.
The performance also toured to the Unity Theatre in Liverpool and Z-Arts in Manchester where a further 200 audience members saw the performance.
This project is just one of many delivered by Action Transport Theatre every year for local young people and their families.
Essar makes much of this work possible through their long standing support of the company which benefits more than 2,000 children and young people every year.
Nina Hajiyianni, artistic director of Action Transport Theatre and chair for Theatre for Young Audiences UK, said: “This was a brilliant opportunity to develop a revolutionary primary schools project that looks at same sex relationships. It is great that we have had support from Essar to create an innovative performance project which has been genuinely pioneering.
“This project will help raise awareness around difference, respect and relationships to primary school children that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
Almost two thirds of young LGBT people have experienced direct homophobic bullying in schools according to a recent survey by charity Stonewall.
Nine in ten secondary school teachers and more than two in five primary school teachers say homophobic bullying occurs in their school with the word ‘gay’ often being used as an insult. The charity Diversity Role Models, report that LGBT youth are six times more likely to commit suicide.
If you are interested in booking a performance of Happily Ever After in your school or community centre in 2016 please contact Jess Egan on 0151 357 2120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.