#8 N-Act Theatre in Schools return to BSM
Keeping our young people physically safe and mentally healthy.
This is the aim of N-Act Theatre in Schools, who are returning to BSM this November with their new play ‘Invisible’. N-Act are based in the UK, and specialise in delivering performances and workshops to young people, parents and staff. I am delighted to be welcoming them back to BSM this year.
‘Invisible’ touches on the pertinent theme of mental health. Denny has written a blog to his 12 year-old self, which he shares with the audience through a mixture of humour and pathos, allowing us to learn from his experiences growing up. Denny’s story makes us think about perception, stigma, how to recognise if someone is suffering, how we can help, and when to call in the professionals. It is a touching and moving story which lifts our hearts, and it’s a true story.
According to current research, 1 in 5 young people experience a mental health issue. Half of all mental health issues begin by the age of 14, and 75% begin by the age of 24. 10% of children aged 5-16 years have a clinically diagnosable mental problem. Yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate help at a sufficiently early age.
“That’s why I am writing this” says Denny, whose blog we uncover during the show. “We could halve that number if people felt they could ask for help. If we got rid of this stigma about mental health and made it normal to talk about.”
We are all keen to help children understand how to be mentally healthy. Furthermore, we want to develop pupils’ confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy.
Sharon Williams, Artistic Director of N-Act Theatre in Schools, suggests that those in the best position to do this are parents and teachers. However, to help our children with their mental health requires us to know if someone is suffering, to know what we are dealing with, and to know that we are doing the right thing. Watching this production of ‘Invisible’ can help us to take these first steps.
N-Act have recently won the High Sheriff of Essex Award 2019 for their work with young people
and have received high praise from their local MP, The Mayor of Southend, and heads and
deputies of the schools they visit. Sharon and her team are very excited to return to work with the BSM community and to meet teachers and leaders from other local schools. They come highly recommended, both from the exam board we use for GCSE Drama and from the students, parents and teachers who have seen their shows all over the UK.
All BSM Senior Students will attend performances of Invisible, tailored to their age group, on 13th and 14th of November. There is also a performance designed specifically for BSM parents to help understand some of the issues surrounding children’s mental health on Wednesday 14th November. Parents can sign up via the Notices Sites.