Hammersmith and Fulham integrates Forum Theatre in communication project

Hammersmith and Fulham EBP launched the Take 2 Project in March of this year and are pleased to be able to use the Leonardo project’s support to make Forum Theatre techniques an integral part of this programme.

The Take Two project focuses on improving the speaking and listening skills of 13-15 year olds from disadvantaged areas in Hammersmith & Fulham in London and Salford in the North of England.  The scheme involves the students being mentored by employees from local companies including the BBC and Leo Burnett in London and the Lowry Theatre in Salford.  The students will then also mentor younger students from local primary schools to support them with their reading.  By being mentored and becoming mentors we hope the young people will improve their communication skills, raising their self esteem and improving their career prospects in the future.

Alongside the mentoring aspect we will be running three sub-projects across the schools involved in the scheme: Communication though Broadcasting, Communication through Advertising and Communication through Forum Theatre.  Students from Phoenix High School have recorded and will be editing a radio programme on ‘Where We Are From’ which involved the students interviewing Linford Christie, ex-England footballer Les Ferdinand and the manager of the UK’s 3rd largest department store, Westfield London.  The show will be broadcast to students from Salford to give them an insight in to Hammersmith and Fulham before they visit the area on an exchange trip.  The Communication through advertising section of the project will involve students working with Leo Burnett, one of the world’s premiere ad agencies, to develop an advertising campaign to promote the local area.

Last, but by no means least, the students will work on Communication through Forum Theatre.  We hope to get the students to input dilemmas from their daily lives and work to resolve these in a Forum Theatre interactive role play setting.  This will help students find new ways to resolve conflict in and outside of school and to raise their self esteem by being better understood within their communities.   We look forward to Risto from HUMAK in Finland and Mads from VIFIN in Denmark coming to the UK in September to train our education professionals and kick start this aspect of the Take Two project.