"Why Don't You Weep" is a multi-media anti-bullying production based on a true story
There are two types of bullies in Jo's life. First there are the girls who physically bully and intimidate her. Then there's Sarah & co., supposed friends of Jo. But are they really her friends with their 'helpful' comments about what she should and shouldn't do, how she should look and behave? Based on true diaries, this play examines the gradual erosion of self-confidence and self-esteem through the dripping tap effect of constant criticism. Eventually, Jo is driven to desperate action when she can no longer cope.
This is a multi-media production with some action taking place on stage and some through filmed sequences. It does not have a happy outcome because we believe that to do so would trivialise the very real, long-lasting effects of bullying.
The production ends with a question to the audience, 'What are you going to do about it?'
Running time: 45 mins. followed by up to 40 mins. talkback
Recommended age group: 11+
Cost: £180 per performance, with 20% reduction for subsequent performances on the same day.
In response to requests from PTAs and parents, we have also developed a workshop for primary schools, using some of the material from the filmed sequences as a basis for workshop development with the pupils.
'Why Don't You Weep?' began touring schools in September 2006 starting with a public performance. It has been used extensively by Cardiff Healthy Schools Initiative to tie in with the Welsh Assembly's Anti-Bullying week. This is some of the reaction:
'The diaries of the bullied girl could have been written by my daughter' - Mother of an anorexic teenager
'A compelling piece of theatre, so realistic were the scenes, particularly when Jo is in hospital' - South Wales Free Press
'I couldn't stop thinking about it for days afterwards' - Caerleon School pupil
'The girl who bullies my daughter was in the audience - I'm sure this will make her stop and think about her actions' - Parent
'I'm so pleased we booked this show. It gave us, as teachers, the chance to hear our pupils talk completely openly about how bullying affects them' - Mr. J. Connick, Assistant Head, Ysgol Gofun Gwyr, Swansea
'Schools have been contacting us immediately after the productions because they have been so impressed with the company and the show and the value it adds to the work they are doing with their pupils' - Sue Fish, Healthy Schools Initiative, Cardiff
'This production was so good we are determined to raise funds to have them back with their other production' - PSE teacher, Rumney School, Cardiff
'I have been a Head of Year for 22 years and this is the best production of this type I have seen. The inter-action between the characters in the bullying scenes was spot-on' - Teacher, Trevethin Community School