John’s Story

Start, Burnley Youth Theatre

John is a Year 8 pupil from Burnley. His school is partnered with Burnley Youth Theatre through Children & the Arts’ Start programme. Their workshop leader was warned on arrival at the school for an introductory workshop that John was “difficult” and probably wouldn’t participate. This turned out to be the case, he was completely uninterested and disengaged throughout and trying to distract the other students.

A few weeks later the class came to see a performance of Moonfleet at Burnley Youth Theatre; this was John’s first visit to the venue. He seemed really abosorbed by the performance and when one of the actors pointed to “the village” at the back of the auditorium, he turned sound in his seat to see.

In their next workshop at school John’s attitude had completely changed. He was hugely vocal about the show, citing what he liked and didn’t, and he participated fully in the workshop. At the end of the session he came up to Rachel, the workshop leader, to tell her he was going to the school library to find a copy of Moonfleet as he now wanted to read it.