“It was a brilliant process” Haringey Shed deliver schools tour in partnership with Our Time

Our Time were thrilled to work with the brilliant Haringey Shed on a performance and workshop about parental mental illness, brought to schools in their north London borough this summer term. The play’s narrative involved a young boy whose mum had depression, and explored how he became aware of his mother’s illness and the explanation he received about it.

Haringey Shed’s Executive Director, Jim Shepley, and Artistic Director, Aran Cherkez, reflect on the experience. 

It was a brilliant process for Haringey Shed to collaborate with Our Time and be able to address parental mental illness to young people. The show that was created, The Invisible Dog, was engaging, thought provoking and resonated with the young people it was performed to.

Performers from Haringey Shed perform "The Invisible Dog"

It’s always really important to create characters that children can identify with. By engaging the children in the drama and getting them involved, it’s a lot easier to convey the message and get them having a conversation. Our diverse cast reflected the young people of Haringey, and the references made within the show allowed young people to resonate with the narrative.

Haringey Shed has strong links with the schools across Haringey through the outreach work that we do.  Drama and play are a fantastic way to involve children and young people in learning, as well as developing skills in confidence, communication and language, often engaging children who don’t get on with traditional learning methods. It was beautiful to see the young peoples’ response to the work.

Performers from Haringey Shed perform "The Invisible Dog"The partnership with Our Time was great for Haringey Shed, getting more information out to children about the important subject of mental health. We are already very involved in delivering the KidsTime Workshops in the borough, so know how vital it is to get families talking about mental health and parental mental illness. With over 1,500 children taking part in the workshops, this tour definitely got the conversation started for a lot of a schools.

We will be building on this highly successful project over the next six months – so look out for more plays from us! If you’d like to find out more about this work, please contact schools@ourtime.org.uk.