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Budding performers get ready to start a 'youthquake' on Stratford stage

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 09 October 2019

Youthquake is coming to Newham. Picture: Zest Theatre

Youthquake is coming to Newham. Picture: Zest Theatre

Archant

Youngsters are planning to create a "youthquake" when they take to the stage to speak out about the issues that matter to them most.

George Hastrup is part of the ensemble. Picture: James Shaw and Alex GarfathGeorge Hastrup is part of the ensemble. Picture: James Shaw and Alex Garfath

Discrimination, Brexit, poverty, racism, suicide and knife crime are among the issues budding actors from a host of Newham schools will confront audiences with as they perform play Youthquake at Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

Jason Fernandez, a student at NewVIc sixth form college taking part, said: "My hope is that Youthquake opens adults minds about what it is like being a young person. I want adults to get a clear message about how we feel."

Jemima Nzinga is taking part in Youthquake. Picture: James Shaw and Alex GarfathJemima Nzinga is taking part in Youthquake. Picture: James Shaw and Alex Garfath

Fellow performer, Jemima Nzinga, added: "I hope it positively displays a version of youths that isn't always shown in the news or social media."

The play tells the story of Becky who wants to inspire her peers to change the world, sparking a youthquake which she doesn't realise has already started.

Aman Basha is one of the NewVIc students taking to the stage. Picture: James Shaw and Alex GarfathAman Basha is one of the NewVIc students taking to the stage. Picture: James Shaw and Alex Garfath

The idea of Zest Theatre founder, Toby Ealden, the team behind Youthquake spoke to Newham youngsters aged 14 upwards about what mattered most to them in a bid to give the piece even more relevance ahead of performances on October 16 and 17.

Its appearance at the Theatre Square based venue comes after 14 weeks of the creative team behind the play talking to 800 young people across the UK, including in Newham.

Melissa Geals is one of the young people taking part. Picture: James Shaw and Alex GarfathMelissa Geals is one of the young people taking part. Picture: James Shaw and Alex Garfath

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Toby said: "We found them to be incredibly vocal. Young people in this community are facing real struggles financially.

Larissa Silva is due to take part. Picture: James Shaw and Alex GarfathLarissa Silva is due to take part. Picture: James Shaw and Alex Garfath

"They feel they don't have power, but compared to other youngsters across the country, they do. They're incredibly articulate.

"It's really important young people stand up and make themselves heard," he added.

Jason Fernandes will appear on stage too. Picture: James Shaw and Alex GarfathJason Fernandes will appear on stage too. Picture: James Shaw and Alex Garfath

Twenty youngsters will appear on the Stratford Circus stage alongside cast members Harris Cain and Claire Gaydon.

Aman Basha, 19, who forms part of Newham's ensemble, said: "I'm looking forward to conveying messages that need to be heard.

"I'm passionate about the issue of knife crime in our borough. I feel that people should not be afraid to speak the truth."

Martyna Belz added: "I hope it shows that we want a change and we will not be silent."

Suitable for ages 14 and upwards. Tickets cost £8 to £10. Call the box office on 020 8279 1080 or visit stratford-circus.com

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