What happens when you have only an hour a week to save a life?
The Sh*t, which premieres at Leeds Playhouse next month (March 3-5), takes place in one of the thousands of youth centres across the UK, where Eric has an hour a week to rescue Daniel from his spiral towards jail – or the grave.
This new play from the Working Party Theatre Company examines the relationship between those at the margins of society, and the people employed to help them.
Director Alexander Ferris, who is associate director for creative engagement at the Playhouse, said: “Every day, youth workers up and down the country are quietly doing an incredible job in their communities supporting young people. Yet over the last 10 years, youth services in the UK have been cut by 70 per cent and.
"Over the last year, the number of young people needing access to mental health support has increased by a third. Youth workers and youth services are helping young people get on the right path right on our doorstep, yet the majority of us have no idea it is taking place.
"This play shines a light on this by sharing moving, funny and complex exchanges between Daniel – a young person whose chaotic life is dragging him down – and Eric, the youth worker charged with seeing him through it.”
The Sh*t is a two-hander, written by BAFTA-nominated writer Kenny Emson in consultation with youth workers and young people in London and Leeds.
The artists and producers in The Working Party, who originally commissioned the play, started research with youth workers and young people in London and Leeds about their experiences four years ago. After interviewing representatives and clients of public sector and charitable organisations, they created an archive documenting experiences of the sector. Writer Emson then delved into the archive to create a representation of the difficult relationships.
Lladel Bryant plays Eric – well-known to Playhouse audiences from his roles in A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas, Road and Europe – and Dillon Scott-Lewis plays Daniel.
Info and tickets here