Gritty urban drama to be staged at Central Library

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A series of contemporary dramas based around the themes of Black History Month is to be staged at Central Library in St Helens.

The theatre productions are being told as part of the National Lottery Award-winning Cultural Hubs programme.

HEADZ is a collection of gritty monologues by Liverpool-based theatre company 20 Stories High that examines the issues affecting young people everywhere.

Central Library will host a sample of the collection, exploring teenage pregnancy, parents splitting up and – since October is Black History Month – racism.

Created for performance in unusual spaces, the monologues – told here by young actors from Merseyside – will tour UK venues on a three year project.

Co-Artistic Director of 20 Stories High, Keith Saha explains: “I was originally inspired by Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series and wanted to write stories that were relevant to the young audiences who we work with; stories that are bold, moving and ask difficult questions.

“Our ethos at 20 Stories High is ‘Everybody has a story to tell... and their own way of telling it’. I still think that theatre generally is too elite, and needs to be more diverse in the way of whose stories get told, how and where we tell them. HEADZ is definitely trying to redress the balance.”

The performance on October 14, 6:30pm, Central Library is suitable for ages 13 and above. Entrance is free, but event-goers will be encouraged to make a small donation – any sum – to 20 Stories High.

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Cultural Hubs is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and allows St Helens Council to enliven the borough’s network of 13 libraries with performances, plays, gigs, workshops, courses, events and exhibitions.

This seventh programme sees the team again working with local people to choose what they want to see in the borough’s libraries and a focus on working with local artists to exhibit their work.