Posted 20 hours ago

I Love You, Mum - I Promise I Won't Die (Plays for Young People)

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This poignant and eminently readable biography of the play is drawn from interviews with Dan’s family, friends and the OYT company. Since then, it has been being studied, taught and performed in schools, colleges and community youth theatres across the UK and as far away as Australia, Tasmania and Vancouver. In the summer of 2020, we made a brand new stage version and live film recording of Mark Wheeller's powerful and moving play.

I love you Mum and I promise I won’t die is intended to be performed as two separate one act plays, but I feel it works just as well, if not better, as a two act play. Ben Glasstone’s charming, witty account of The Emperor Who Has No Clothes works well for two main reasons. Through this powerful verbatim performance they witness the joyful life and tragic death of Dan Spargo-Mabbs, and see how devastating the loss of a young life is for the family, friends and the wider community. Matt Sykes-Hooban’s set design is simple but used effectively to show a variety of locations including an interview room, a house, a warehouse and a hospital.The true story is enacted from verbatim interviews with Dan’s family and friends, curated by author Mark Wheeller into a one hour play, skilfully directed by Elliot Montgomery, artistic director of Tie It Up Theatre, a company which focuses on theatre in education. This verbatim book draws on the testimony of the many people involved in creating the play, from Dan’s family and friends who gave their words, to the young people and team of Oasis Youth Theatre, who worked with Mark on the original production that became the published play. A verbatim play written by Mark Wheeller using the testimonies of Daniel Spargo-Mabbs’ friends and family. of students said they'd been given relevant information, 92% said it tackled their misconceptions about drugs, and 86% said it had changed their perceptions of the risks and consequences of using drugs. The play allows Dan’s story to be told by the people who loved him and knew him the best, his family and friends.

With three separate Lucian Freud exhibitions currently on, Graham Hooper took time to visit and here is his review of these contrasting shows. The Foundation has also funded and coordinated a professional tour of London schools, colleges and communities as a Theatre in Education production since 2017, recently attracting Arts Council funding for its fourth professional tour this Spring. There is one part, never fully explained, but beautifully performed which involves the taking off and putting on of hoodies, cardigans and jackets. Don’t miss Mark Wheeller’s beautifully-written play and Octopus Dream’s acclaimed production, touring to theatres for the first time, following highly successful tours to secondary schools across the country.First it is one of the most perceptive stories ever written, dealing as it does with vanity, self delusion, conformity and truth. Alex Colley is fantastic as Tim, Dan’s father, and his chemistry with Radford and Scott-Ward is truly believable.

The fourth member of the excellent young ensemble, Alex Colley, tends to take the part of Dan, less prominent as Mark interviews the survivors.

His work has been a staple part of the Drama curriculum both in the UK and abroad for the past three decades. Although the play revolves around Dan he has no lines and he is imaginatively represented throughout by a blue zip-hoodie that is sometimes worn by the 15-strong cast who play him in turn. His play ‘Too Much Punch for Judy’, written in 1987, is one of the most performed contemporary plays in the UK.

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