Image Credit: Space2
Space2's Fix This is a new drama raising awareness of self harm among young people. Space2 is a community development organisation who runs arts projects which promote health and well being. Space2 has commissioned Emma Adams, a local playwright, to write Fix This and the project is funded Jimbo's Fund through Leeds Community Foundation. The drama is touring secondary schools in Leeds and hopes to raise awareness of self-harming. Emma has sensitively put together a mind blowing script following thorough research of consultations with young people at a Leeds Secondary School, a young people's advisory group and a Leeds drop-in centre for young people. The collocation of information ensures a modern dialogue where one can relate to at least one form of self harm directly and indirectly.
Fix This explores self harm contextually and it certainly not recommendable to perceive self harm as simply physically harming yourself. It explores other forms emotionally and psychologically which are term as self harming behaviours. Nicola Etoria, an actor, performs multiple characters under the direction of Sarah Applewhite. The drama is interactive involving a pupil, teacher, mother and a mention of peers. Smooth and effortless transition by Nicola from and to each character who offers a diversity of scenarios of how the complex issue of self harm is seen from all perspectives. Obviously the sad acknowledgement of discrimination and labelling still exists today.
The play reiterates that self harm is complex and is not considered as a 'quick-fix' solution. This is something that will always be an issue for one who is dealing with it. Shared and emphasised with the audience is that some people simply want to just cope one day at a time with the challenges they are faced with. Self harm is a small part of their personalities and livelihoods and it isn't wholly them! Reiteration is made ensuring young people are invited to ask for support and advice which suits their needs at the right time. No presumptions should be made but be aware of the choices which young people can make and not rely on prescribed guidelines.
Fix This fits nicely in raising awareness at Grassroots level in schools and in the community. At the end of the play the audience is reminded that everyone is vulnerable and there is no individual who isn't immuned whether young or old. A successful play which encourages everyone to proactively think how they perceive self harm and its complexities. From a professional perspective it gives fresh impetus of how they can invite young people to ask what they would like for support and engage in wider conversations.
Sarah Spanton has produced a resource pack for schools and a website is available where young people, families, friends and professionals can access relevant information and supporting services that area available. Fix This is adapted as such where it can be performed in schools' classrooms and the 25 minutes length play and question and answers workshop can aptly fit in school timetables.
Fix This has been performed at Head Space, presented by Space2, on 21st October 2014 at The Venue, Leeds College of Music. Further information about Space2 and their projects can be found on their website.