Sunday, 3 March 2024
Sunday, 3 March 2024

New play tackling anti-social behaviour tours Scottish schools

A new stage play that aims to tackle anti-social behaviour in Glasgow communities is touring the city’s primary schools.

Butterflies & Storms is the latest work from Scottish playwright Mark MacNicol and was devised after workshops with young people and local residents in Glasgow.

Mark, who grew up in Priesthill, has lived experience of being involved in anti-social behaviour as a child. He was motivated to write the piece after hearing about issues in the local area from his friends and family who live there.

The play tells the story of two young cousins, Lex and Leo, and their experience of anti-social behaviour. The piece was commissioned by housing provider Sanctuary and Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, with a grant from Cashback for Communities, which is funded by the Scottish Government.

It is produced by Creative Change Collective, a team of experienced professionals who specialise in working to address social challenges across Scotland. The organisation helps bring about positive change through creative practices associated with film, theatre and performance.

Its focus is on exploring ways the arts and creativity can be used to help individuals, groups and their wider communities achieve more positive outcomes. Mark and the play’s director, Georgia Ireland, used workshops with pupils and residents to devise the play and a companion teacher resource pack.

It starts its tour of primary schools next week and comes with a teacher resource pack to help them discuss the issues raised. The tour gets underway today and runs until November 17. School performances are still available. To book a slot, please email: info@4umtheatre.org.

Mark MacNicol, Creative Change Collective project director, said:

“I still work in mainstream film and theatre, but I would describe myself as a socially motivated creative. These types of projects are all about having a positive impact on our society. I can’t think of anything more important.

“Having grown up in Priesthill, I understand some of the challenges facing both young people and also local residents and it means a lot to me to be able to contribute something positive to the area where I grew up.

“This project actually came about after a conversation with my mum about some challenges in the area and Creative Change Collective made contact with a local housing association.

“I’m grateful to Sanctuary, Glasgow HSCP and Cashback for Communities. Without their support, this stage play and the companion teacher resource pack wouldn’t exist.”

Councillor Christina Cannon, City Convener for Education and Early Years, said:

“Learning and teaching come in many different formats, and we know that getting messages across in creative ways to our children and young people can have a big impact.

“Our schools are always happy to work with a range of partners and the local community to complement the work our teachers are doing to enhance our pupil’s knowledge and skills.”

Anthony Morrow, Community Connector Manager, Sanctuary, said:

“We are proud to be a part of this project. Anti-social behaviour is often due to a lack of sense of belonging, and we believe that an inclusive approach that builds connections and recognises the value of young people will help address the root causes of these issues.

“Creative projects like Mark’s are a powerful way to ensure that local voices are heard, by using their experiences to help benefit communities.”

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