Young carers’ lives brought to the stage in Welwyn Garden City school musical
- Credit: Richard Sutton
Drama teachers at a Welwyn Garden City school have written a brand new musical play inspired by young carers.
The musical, “Station Road”, is penned by subject leaders in music and drama William Sarjeant and Sarah Standage at Sir Frederic Osborn School, and is about a young carer called Rocco and the struggles of his community.
The curtain will rise on the premiere performances at the school on 21-23 February, with a cast and technical team of 40 pupils.
Rocco’s story helps to explore how young people help take on the burdens of everyday issues such as stress, addiction, and mental health.
Pupils Ben Watt, Emily Delacy, Olivia Potter and Ethan Adams take some of the main characters of Rocco and his neighbours on Station Road.
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Miss Standage told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s all about how different things go on behind each closed doors, and how everyone has different struggles.”
According to Miss Standage, around 30 per cent of the pupils at Sir Frederic Osborn School are recognised disadvantaged students.
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In July last year, the school received a Bronze Young Carers in Schools Award, an achievement which was part of inspiring the play.
“Often the kids with difficult lives can’t get involved in things like a school play,” said Miss Standage.
It’s been a hit with the young actors already.
“We give them the script and by the next rehearsal they’ve learnt all their lines,” said Miss Standage.
“Without something like drama, they wouldn’t have any reason to come to school at all or any way of expressing themselves.”
“Station Road” has already sparked interest from schools across the country, with budding actors in Manchester, Kent, North Wales and London all eager to stage their own performances.
The play was nine months in the writing - “literally, it’s our baby!” said Miss Standage.
The effort has also saved cash, as licence fees for staging a popular school musical like We Will Rock You or Grease can cost around £1000.
But, having saved there, Miss Standage and Mr Sarjeant have been fundraising for all the other costs for months and are still seeking sponsorship from local businesses.
Tickets for “Station Road” are £6 on the door or £5 if booked in advance - details are on the play’s website at www.stationroadmusical.com