Crystal Brown – PRU student aged 16. Estranged from both parents at the age of 12, she found her place amongst the street gangs of Croydon. She showed promise as a pianist but was not been able to keep up her music practice as she was moved from home to home. “Since young I was passionate about drama but the road took me away from it. Now I’m happy I’m back in, and hope it will take me somewhere; anywhere…”
Isabel Onyemere – Despite being an able student, she was unwittingly drawn into a relationship with a known East End drug dealer, who became increasingly more mentally abusive and physically violent. Repeatedly hospitalised, she managed to escape that relationship, after having a child at a young age. She now lives in protected housing with her son, aged four. “Drama workshops with The Project are therapeutic – you can get out all your shit”.
Nathan Roberts – Ex PRU student, aged 21. Raw talent gained him a place at the BRIT school to study theatre at the age of 16, completing his Extended Diploma in 2008. He was later drawn back into his former gang life by powerful and merciless gang members. He has now left that criminal life, and is seeking a way to complete his theatre studies at University.
Princess Webb – Ex PRU student, aged 18. Placed in a “sink” group in a tough inner city school, Princess was made virtually homeless together with her mother and young sister at the age of 12. Excluded from school for violent behaviour, she is determined to make a future for herself now. She says, “I love the workshops. They are about real life… the life that I know.”
The Creative Team
Ray Harrison Graham – Artistic Director – Multi award winning writer and director, known for his television and stage work that explores issues of social exclusion and disability. Among his many theatre and television awards, he won a Fringe First for GARY, and two BAFTAs for STRONG LANGUAGE and LION MOUNTAIN. He also created and directed the Channel 4 television drama RUSH, that won numerous awards and ran for four series.
Giles Stogdon – Producer/Administrator – Qualifying as a teacher and working in some of London’s toughest schools, he looked for innovative ways of working with disaffected secondary students, which led him finally to teach in a PRU. Here, over eight years, he forged an alliance with the School of Psychology at Sussex University and developed a drama course that underpins THE PROJECT’s ground breaking approach.