Directed by Abbey Wright, Tackroom Theatre teamed up with children’s charity Barnardo’s to create a new piece of theatre exploring pornography. Here, Tender Youth Board member Michaela gives us her view on the show.
Sex is a hugely prominent part of our culture and yet still carries so many taboos: especially when it comes to talking about it with young people.
Which brings us to Why is the Sky Blue? Unlike many other plays about pornography, this is the voice of young people for an audience of adults (and everyone really): a reverse education almost, given usually we see theatre around this topic made by adults for adults. It was an extremely refreshing piece of theatre, the use of verbatim of both the personal accounts of the performers in the show and extracts from interviews from thousands of children around the country (which were then often moulded into a song) made the piece really live.
There is an electricity to a group of children, and especially to a group of children in a room being really listened to by a group of adults, and being allowed to openly talk about something which is often not considered socially acceptable. The set was extremely minimalist, with the entire stage consisting of a chair for each performer and a piano. This worked extremely well for the piece, we watched the space come to life as we followed each child’s journey. Intelligently, each performer wore a pair of headphones which they would use both to hear the verbatim pieces and for the younger kids as a noise canceller to sensor themselves from the inappropriate content for their age. They also served as a physical representation of the privacy of some conversations and openness of others.
Overall, the entire audience came away with a real gift from these young performers: what a beautiful way to open the conversation of educating our young people on, healthy relationships and sexual education.
Written by Youth Board member Michaela Mackenzie.
This show has now closed, but for more information about its creation, you can read this article here.