Bridport Colour Walk by Billy Shearer
Date: 20th September, 2021.
Third UK tour for play about lives of hidden young carers
A play about young carers in Salford that “knocked MPs sideways” is about to embark on a national
The show, Who Cares, was written by Matt Woodhead and co-produced by The Lowry and LUNG. It was made in partnership with Greater Manchester charity, Gaddum and its Salford Carers Service and is funded by the Oglesby Charitable Trust and the Leche Trust.
It features 200 hours of interviews with four young carers from Salford about their lives – as well as input from their families and schoolteachers. Local councillors and MP, Barbara Keeley, were also interviewed – along with GP’s and young carers’ workers in the city-region.
The play aims to help identify ‘hidden’ young carers in the UK – those who provide care under the radar of their friends, schoolteachers and local authorities – as well as signpost them to the support available. The tour will engage with thousands of young people in schools across the UK and it will provide resources for professionals that work with young carers on a daily basis by offering CPD training and workshops.
The tour opens at North Wall in Oxford on 28th September before touring to Hat Factory (Luton), Oldham Coliseum (Oldham), Dukes Theatre (Lancaster), MAST Mayflower (Southampton), Mercury Theatre (Colchester), Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (Guildford), Clapham Omnibus (London), The Place (Bedford), Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham), Norwich Playhouse (Norwich), Leicester Curve (Leicester), Bridport Arts Centre (Bridport) and Unity Theatre (Liverpool). The play will also call at its birthplace, The Lowry in Salford.
Venues have been chosen with the express purpose of presenting the work in areas of deprivation -where the need for support services is strongest – and where there are low levels of engagement in live theatre. Across the tour, it is hoped the work will be seen by more than 4,000 people.
Matt Woodhead, writer of Who Cares and co-artistic director of LUNG said: “Sharing the inspirational stories of young carers from Salford with audiences across the UK is a real privilege and a vital part of the campaign to raise awareness of this, often hidden, issue. With each venue we’re able to perform in we’ll educate more people about the plight of young carers and hopefully recruit them as advocates for better funding and support for these incredible young people.”
Who Cares premiered to critical acclaim at The Lowry in November 2016, and embarked on a tour of 27 non-theatre venues in 2017 that reached over 3,000 young people. A number of young carers were identified and 97% of young people who saw it said it changed their perception of young carers.
The production also performed at the House of Lords in December 2017 to MPs & policy makers. In 2019, Who Cares embarked on a second tour before performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe reaching over 4,000 audience members and winning a Sit Up Award for Engagement, Mervyn Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe and Summerhall Lustrum Award. In February 2021, Who Cares was performed on BBC Radio 2 reaching over 800,000 listeners.
The 2017 national tour was made possible thanks to funding from The Oglesby Charitable Trust and Curious Minds and the 2019 national tour was made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.
For more information:Ellie Claughton – Producer LUNG Theatre firstname.lastname@example.org 07969436697
Note to Editors
Founded in Barnsley in 2012, LUNG is a campaign led verbatim theatre company that tours work nationally. We work closely with different communities to make verbatim theatre and hidden voices heard. LUNG creates work that shines a light on political, social and economic issues in modern Britain, usingpeople’s actual words to tell their stories. Previous shows include: The 56, E15 and Chilcot. LUNG are Associate Artists at The Lowry.
For information, please visit http://lungtheatre.co.uk/
At Gaddum Carers Salford we treat everyone as individuals. We really get to know those we help, by understanding their world in order to offer a range of support that’s right for them. Our promise of tailored support is made possible by our breadth and depth of knowledge, through our nearly 200 years unwavering commitment to the local people of Greater Manchester.
Gaddum Carers Service listen to what support is needed by carers of all ages, we deliver that support where possible and lobby for change across Greater Manchester and beyond in order to help carers voices be heard. We have support carers of all ages in Salford for the last 20+ years.
For information, please visit www.gaddum.org.uk
About The Lowry
The Lowry is a world class arts centre based in Salford, committed to using the arts to enrich people’s
lives. The Lowry works closely with artistic partners to offer a diverse programme of theatre, opera, musicals, dance, music, comedy, digital and visual art. At the heart of our work is a belief in the power of the arts as a tool for social change and a commitment to young people in the local community. As a registered charity with strong local partnerships these projects enable the most ‘At Risk’ young people to have access to life changing opportunities; to learn new skills, improve their wellbeing and to have a voice through the art that they make. This exciting work brings together high quality artists with young people who are experiencing challenges in their life. Through this interaction young people explore their own self- expression, political thought and creative ideas, making work which challenges the world to stop and listen.
For more information, please visit https://thelowry.com