No need to feel #awkward, say budding actors at Lord Mayor’s Celebrations

Lead Theatre performing at Latitude Festival

Lead Theatre performing at Latitude Festival - Credit: Archant

It happens to the best of us.

That is the message The Lead Theatre Company will bring to the Lord Mayor's Celebration next month with their new play exploring teenage awkwardness.

Titled #Awkward, its message is situations which could feel mortifying happen to us all and the best coping mechanism is to laugh it off.

Performed by five local budding actors, it will feature sections of improvisation drawing on contributions from the audience at the Launch Pad, hosted by Culture Works East.

It builds on a performance at last year's Latitude Festival, exploring mental health issues among young people.


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Leanne Cork, artistic director of the Lead Theatre Company, said: 'We have looked at different things that make young people feel awkward, with a bit of informal market research.

'What they came up with was things like being called up in assembly to get an award, or your parents talking to you about sex.

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'Our over-riding theme is it is okay and you will get over it eventually. There are lots of ways to deal with it.

'The play has lots of little skits and sketches and is a very humorous look at the issue, with some more informative sections from Childline about how to deal with awkwardness and how it is best just to laugh it off. 'We have tried to have a bit of a light-hearted approach because ultimately the best advice is to brush it off.'

The Lead Theatre Company was set up to help young people who are in the gap between further education, training and performance arts. They work with young people aged between 18 and 26 and the aim is to build up their professional skills, supporting them with drama school applications.

'We open the show by asking the audience to write down their own awkward situations, and we open with a dance routine where everything that can go wrong does go wrong,' added Ms Cork.

'We don't want the audience to feel awkward during the show like it is mortifying, we want to create a situation where they might feel a little awkward on our behalf. It is a positive reinforcement of an awkward situation, saying we have all been there. They are often really small things but they can feel like the end of the world. 'By highlighting it that opens up a dialogue, and people realise it is not worth dwelling on.'

The Launch Pad will be held at the Chantry car park throughout July 2. For more information visit www.cultureworkseast.co.uk/launchpad.

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