Posted 20 hours ago

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

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Life is made of moments, memories and conversations and the strong theme running throughout this production is the strength people get from all these once there is nothing left and we can no longer speak to the person who has died. Don’t miss Mark Wheeller’s beautifully-written play and Octopus Dream’s acclaimed production, touring to theatres across the country for the first time. Although it is similar in themes to his other works, it's a very literal piece – the way in which the words of real-life friends and family are crafted into the text makes it so eloquent and beautiful. The verbatim nature of the whole show gives a naturally convincing edge to all the narration and Wheeller balances the different voices perfectly.

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.An abridged version has toured to many secondary schools across the country and has been seen by thousands of young people, but we always wanted to share the full version with a theatre audience. Through the charity that's been set up in Daniel's name, the text has been studied in theatres, schools and theatre groups, both in the UK and internationally and watched (in a variety of contexts) by approximately 16,000 students.

This book offers a unique and fulsome guide for teaching/studying this play and includes a detailed scheme of work for teachers using the play as a set text in the GCSE Drama examination. Theatre in education is an effective genre to inform, to educate and to make real life situations relatable and to prompt us to ask questions about how and why things happen. Perhaps this scene was built around the parting shot, the last time a loved one leaves the family home, a casual everyday gesture of slipping into a hoodie, forever after a sacred memory and the moments perhaps, when life stands still for those left behind. Towards the end of the play he performs the final moments between Dan and his girlfriend Jenna (Amy Zoldan) as she relives their final conversation.So, when the tragedy happened, his Drama teacher contacted playwright Mark Wheeller with the suggestion of using Dan as the subject for a play. It is deeply moving, truly heartbreaking, and challenging as it touches on what we can do to help stop this happening to others. It was her idea, in those early months after Dan died, that we consider using drama as a means of communicating our important messages to young people. I have taught Drama for over 20 years now, and have lost count of how many plays I have directed, but the impact at the end of last night’s performance on both cast and audience was something I have never experienced in education.

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