Whisper Me Happy Ever After

Whisper Me Happy Ever After

by Julie McNamara

Suitable For

Years 5 and 6 

Capacity

Up to 90 pupils per show, two shows per day.

About

Domestic abuse 

The play follows a family experiencing domestic abuse and explores the effects on the mental health of children who witness it. It is both humorous and disturbing.

The audience share lots of practical and emotional thinking about what they could do in a similar situation.

After the theatre piece, pupils interact with the characters and consider what they could have done to get the help they needed and deserved.

Subsequently, pupils can talk to our counsellor and team members to discuss personal issues raised by the play. 

Aims

  • To improve the emotional health and wellbeing of people aged 9 - 11 years old and up to 19 in special schools.
  • To develop strategies for dealing with violence in the home to increase resilience, reduce stress, improve general emotional wellbeing and school attendance. 
  • To raise awareness about domestic violence, teaching peer support skills and informing children about how to get help and support.
  • To prevent future domestic abuse by confronting the emotional and legal consequences.

Duration

90 minutes, including the workshop, plus at least a further 30 minutes for audience members to disclose and discuss problems if they wish.

Space

a hall to perform the show and hall or meeting room/class room for disclosures following the play.

Resources

We provide a teacher’s pack of ideas and sign-posting information, a poster for the school and cards with information about help for all pupils.

Team

Six people – four actors, a facilitator and a qualified counsellor 

History

The show was developed in 2012 with more than 300 disabled and non-disabled children and young people, teachers, support groups and victims of domestic, abuse along with writer Julie McNamara and director Annie Smol.

The programme has toured across North and West London every year, reaching up to 3500 young people per tour. 

Duration

90 minutes, including the workshop, plus at least a further 30 minutes for audience members to disclose and discuss problems if they wish.

 

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Case Study

When C, a child, saw Face Front’s production about domestic abuse in her school, she was brave enough to come and talk to our counsellor afterwards. She explained about the living hell that she was experiencing and the violence she was witnessing and receiving. Her disclosure was immediately taken up with the school and the very next day, from the child she had been with stooped shoulders, flinching at the slightest thing, she was able to skip into school, having been given the support she needed and deserved.

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, you literally saved my life. I never would have spoken out without seeing your play and knowing there were others like me.’

 

Funding

The development was funded by Enfield Council, Haringey Council, John Lyon’s Charity and Tottenham Grammar School Foundation.

Audience Response

The response from pupils and teachers alike demonstrates the urgent need to tackle this issue.

Approximately 250+ young people during each tour make disclosures about their own problems at home and are helped by close liaison with school child protection officers, support groups and the Local authorities. 

‘The Face Front team is fantastic. The work you do is wonderful. Children come up to you, who we normally never hear from. They don’t talk to us or tell us what’s wrong but they talk to you guys and then we can help.’

Child Protection Officer Haringey

‘From the show I have learnt that you must always tell the truth from the beginning no matter what, if you are scared or hurting.’

Pupil aged 10

‘Speaking as a mum, a teacher and a gran – what you are dealing with in schools, sex and relationships (Sex FM) and domestic violence (Whisper Me Happy Ever After) – its so well done. This never happened when I went to school. I was so impressed that you could present difficult issues and there is no giggling –  unforgettable, incredible – and to enable the youngsters to come forward and talk about their problems and issues afterwards is truly amazing and inspiring. The fact that schools seek Face Front out because of your good reputation shows the quality of the work – Schools would run a mile if you did not deliver with integrity.’

Anne, Trustee & InterACTion Member

The varied groups of actors have always demonstrated high levels of performing excellence and an ability to engage with young audiences. This testifies to the rigorous training and support which Face Front invests in their actors and the dedication to the aims of inclusive theatre.

Haringey Citizenship and Participation Manager



Face Front Inclusive Theatre | Limited Company No. 05154096 | Registered Charity No. 1116506
Main Office & Studio: 52 Market Square, Edmonton Green, London N9 0TZ - Telephone: 020 8350 3461

Email Face Front: info@facefront.org  

PATRONS - Matt Fraser & Josette Bushell-Mingo