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Black Roses Drama Educational Resource Launch Night

The launch of the Black Roses Educational resource held at DACA last night was a huge success with over 150 people attending the powerful event.

The audience was made up of young people, parents, teachers and professionals from leading members of Lancashire Police, Youth Justice Service and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office alongside members of the public who joined us.

A reception was held before the event began to give guests an opportunity to meet and for the Foundation to showcase our educational resources.

black roses drama educational resource lanuch night 1At 6pm the Principle of DACA, Lisa Dolan welcomed the guests before the director of Ribcaged Productions, Owen Philips, explained how the play was created using the poetry of Simon Armitage from ‘Black Roses – The Killing of Sophie Lancaster’ interspersed with the drama Porcelain – The Trial for The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, written by Ian Kershaw which contains actual transcripts from the trial. It also includes verbatim quotes from the police, Sophie’s friends and others who felt the impact of Sophie’s hate motivated murder then and still, almost 11 years on.

The play was performed by five professional actors who played the various roles. Their portrayal of Sylvia and Sophie in particular was moving and realistic.

Sylvia Lancaster held an informal Q&A session at the end of the profound performance answering many insightful questions from young people and professionals.

Chief Inspector Ian Mills, Lead for Hate Crime in Lancashire Police, closed the evening thanking Sylvia and the Foundation for their work and with a reminder of why we were all gathered – to build on Sophie’s legacy through partnership working to strengthen the work being done to identify and combat the hate that destroys our roses drama educational resource lanuch night 2

Reflections of the event.

Chief Inspector Ian Mills

“Listening to the poetry of Black Roses alongside court transcripts and the words of those directly involved in the tragic events of Sophie’s death was an incredibly powerful and emotional experience. I along with the entire audience were totally consumed by the content, cast and production and I hope that as wide an audience as possible is able to experience this in the future.

Thank you again for the invite we were proud to be there.”

 David Fleming – Lead Youth Justice Service

“I found the production to be very powerful and challenging. The performances of the actors was superb. In particular I found the actor who played Sophie to be particularly impressive, she had an almost ethereal presentation giving us an opportunity to view her both as with us, but in a more timeless unchanging way-this made her speeches and poems seem more credible and cloaked in an infinite wisdom. To manage this whilst portraying a 20 year old Sophie was particularly impressive and will stay with me for a long time. The anger that I felt, was that since Sophie was murdered the world seems to have become more hateful with some of the more vulnerable groups of people in society being at most risk from being targeted by those who oppose difference. The hope that Sylvia brings, that despite her daughter having been murdered by a group of young people, is that it is young people who can make a difference to change the hate of difference, is particularly amazing. Despite the inevitable sadness that the production left me with, it also gave me a reminder of why I come to work and what a difference my team and colleagues can make

Thank you to everyone involved.”

 Lesley Davidson – Emotional Health and Well Being Coordinator Bury MBC Children's Services

“I drove my journey home in total silence trying to process what I had just seen and heard and waking the following morning still thinking about it, such was the profound impact that this performance had on me.

This is a message that needs to be heard by professionals, parents and young people across our communities everywhere. The memory of the evening will stay with me for a very long time and I would urge anyone who gets the opportunity to see this performance to do so despite its upsetting content. This really will reach into people’s hearts and minds to leave a lasting impression.

Thanks to the team for the invitation.”

Catherine Hartley - Lead Consultant - New Arrivals & GRT Team - Learning Access

“This event was awesome – powerful, poignant, heart breaking, anger inducing – and much, much more – but also uplifting as it is being used to bring about something positive (hopefully).It was superbly presented”