Members of Theatre Centre crew and the young performers of "It Happened Here," before their performances in Shoreditch Park.
Click to Play "Too Close for Comfort".
My most recent piece of consultancy was working with the team at Theatre Centre and young people from Bridge Academy on Laburnam Road in Hackney. A fantastic bunch of kids, working to a really tight schedule, gave me their ideas on scenes for them to enact at the Shoreditch Festival. The history of boxing in the East End, stories from the history of the Regent's Canal and Music Hall all to be performed on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year. A great experience and a real joy to be part of.
More gruelling but nonetheless inspiring was the film that I wrote and directed called Too Close For Comfort. A work in collaboration with the London Metropolitan University which was taken from research into the difficulties teenage and young Somali's have in living in the UK. It tackles drugs and the social milieu they inhabit head on. My first experience of directing a film and hopefully not my last.
The Wellcome Project under their Pulse programme called Burning Issues was extremely interesting. Young Bengali and Somali women came up with the idea of a play called Shilpa and Jade – The skin story, which was about acid burning and skin lightening, something very topical in those communities. It also tackled Female Genital Mutilation in a wonderful, but truly harrowing monologue that one of the young women had written.