‘Removed’ gives young people in care a voice

A powerful play which gives a voice to Northern Ireland’s young people in care is set to tour the province with its funny, affecting and hard-hitting message.

Written by Fionnuala Kennedy, ‘Removed’ tells the story of Adam, a young person who has grown up in the Northern Irish Social Care system.

Actor Conor O’Donnell will deliver the intimate monologue at The Strand Arts Centre, Belfast on November 6; The Alley Theatre in Strabane on November 7 and Down Arts Centre in Downpatrick on November 9. It’s a poignant show, not to be missed and is suitable for audiences aged 11+

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‘Removed’ is not based on any one individual, but rather an amalgam of the many interviews gathered by Fionnuala Kennedy in collaboration with Voice Of Young People In Care (VOYPIC). A group of young people with care experience shared their personal stories with the playwright. She describes the process: “Going into the interviews, my knowledge of the care system was really limited. Your ideas are informed by things you’ve overheard or assume. So we just started from the beginning: when young people are taken into care - that day or night or moment when you’re removed from the familiar and brought into a system where it’s difficult to have autonomy over your life, because, as a child, things are decided for you.”

Fionnuala continued: “The play is dedicated to all those making the lives of young people in care better - to the staff of VOYPIC and the many other organisations working with these young people, those incredible foster and adoptive parents who change lives every day, the social workers (the good ones!) navigating the system, but mostly, to those extraordinary young people who gave me their time and shared their stories, who are utterly inspiring and making a huge difference for children in care now, and in the future.”

As part of their outreach and engagement work, Prime Cut in partnership with Clanmil Housing, Barnardo’s NI, Home For Good and Arts & Business NI will deliver a series of free workshops, smaller performances and post-show discussions exploring what it really means to be ‘in care’, the realities of fostering and many of the other issues explored in the play. Full details from www.primecutproductions.co.uk