Stratford’s Theatre Royal launches youth manifesto

Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Swan Foundation have joined forces to inspire young people to get involved with politics and their local community.

A Youth Manifesto with a Difference will engage a group of young people aged 16 to 21 to act as ambassadors and ask their peers what vision they have for Newham’s future, before presenting it on stage.

It will involve local and national politicians who will be invited to debate issues of importance with young people through a Question Time‟ format at the theatre in Gerry Raffles square in Stratford.

The project will culminate in a live performance on March 12 and 13 when young artists will use their ideas to create a series of provocative poems that will form a Youth Manifesto in Spoken Word format.

Newham has a track record of listening to young people and its Young Mayor will be working with the project to ensure those hard to reach‟ young people get a voice.

At the 2010 General Election, fewer than half of 18 to 24-year-olds voted, according to a study by Nottingham Trent University. Newham has a long tradition of bringing young people into the world of politics with its Young Mayor scheme. The Youth Manifesto with a Difference project aims to build upon this tradition by breathing new life into what has traditionally been a dry document.

The Swan Foundation is a charity dedicated to improving people’s lives.