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Lakeside spreads Sweet Love! 01 May 2012

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Lakeside has worked with London-based Futures Theatre Company to bring an inspirational and educational message to school students in the Thurrock, Havering and Purfleet areas.

During March and April nearly 1000 young people attended and participated in Futures Theatre’s ‘Sweet Love’ project which tackles difficult and contemporary social issues of concern to young people and addresses, through live performance, subjects such as sexual bullying that might otherwise be deemed perhaps too difficult to discuss with them.

Working closely with the Futures team and local schools Lakeside and other CSC employees appreciated the special nature of Futures’ work as the young professional actors appearing in ‘Sweet Love’ delivered hard hitting and sensitive messages through drama and sought to engage directly with all the young people who saw the performances. In a compelling twist to the ‘actors and audience’ nature of live theatre the Futures team took comments and questions directly from the school students and invited them to come forward to join the actors and demonstrate thoughts and responses to the messages delivered by ‘Sweet Love’ by taking part in new role play working with the actors. To the wider audience including teachers and community leaders this aspect of Futures’ engagement with the young people was both realistic and inspirational.

Talking after the performance of ‘Sweet Love’ at Ormiston Park Academy Paul Lancaster, General Manager at Lakeside noted:

“As an avid theatre goer, I was amazed at the quality and power of the acting I witnessed when I attended a performance at a local school here in Thurrock. Sweet Love ,a story delivered by the Futures Theatre Company, a story which in fairness, should never be told, addresses through acting and interactive workshops the difficult subjects young people in our society face, sexual bullying and harassment. They tackle the subjects head on, making no apology for showing the serious outcomes this type of behaviour has on young people. Getting the young people to participate in role playing the characters to look at different ways of tackling these issues and how they can deliver, different, positive outcomes was truly amazing.

The feedback from the children themselves on how they view the “sexualisation” of young people was proof enough this type of initiative, delivered in an innovative and active way is so important and sadly needed. I cannot speak highly enough of this project and the work of Futures.”

Sweet Love Performance

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