Home grown drama with healing message

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The Prestonbased co-creator of a new drama production for children believes it could have a special resonance for youngsters, following the tragedy of the Manchester bombing.

Around The World in 80 Notes has a healing message of care across continents which has a relevance which writer Melanie Ash and composer Jude Jagger could never have expected when they started to develop the production last year.

Now the show has received extra funding to enable it to go on tour.

Melanie, pictured, who runs the city’s Meladrama acting school, said the show, which premiered at arts festival Just So, started life as a research and development project funded by the Arts Council and Manchester based Z Arts.

She said: “It’s such a diverse piece. It’s all about acceptance and understanding of other people’s culture. It promotes emotional wellbeing in children and diversity.”

Melanie was planning to invite local schools to see if they would like a visiting performance, but believes that the Manchester atrocity makes its messages particularly relevant. She said: “I think it is particularly appropriate at the moment - after what’s happened it is really important we all come together and that’s exactly what the show is about.”

She added: “We go in in a morning and do the play and in the afternoon there are music or drama workshops for children about children’s emotional health.”

New sets will be designed by Alison Heffernan, whose work has featured in productions at the Dukes Playhouse in Lancaster. The drama tells the story of Frankie, eight, who learns from characters from different countries how to cope with her problems.