On Tuesday 3rd October the drama group in UrStage at Future Youth Zone showcased a production of ‘I Love You Mum, I Promise I Won’t Die’. The play, written by esteemed playwright Mark Wheeller, tells the heart-breaking true story of Dan Spargo-Mabbs who tragically lost his life in January 2014, three days after taking a lethal amount of ecstasy at an illegal rave in Hillingdon – his first experience of such an event. The play aims to raise awareness of the fatal effects recreational drug use can have and has been performed, with the complete backing of Dan’s family, hundreds of times around the world. In front of an audience that included adults and young people, the members of Future’s drama club told Dan’s story with a passion an energy that juxtaposed the minimalistic set design. This play was chosen by the group of young people as they felt it was a strong message to portray to their peers, their Youth Workers, and their families.

After the event, Michael Nearchou, Future’s Arts Coordinator commented on the show: ‘Future Youth Zone had its very first drama production last week titled “Dear Mum, I promise I won’t die” The production is based on a true story about a teenager going to a party and took drugs, this resulted in the young person dying. Our seniors picked this play and wanted to show awareness on the impacts that young people face in this modern day. Our performing arts sessional youth worker Kirsty was the key importance in pulling the strings to make this production look and feel amazing! Here at Future, one of our values is young people first, so we listened and made things happened by building wood blocks for stage props, made sure costumes and curtains were a part of our production. Our young people worked extremely hard in making the production happen. Thank you!’

Calvin, a young person and performer in the play, spoke of what it was like being part of the production: ‘Because it wasn’t my first time performing in front of an audience, I wasn’t exactly nervous but, because of the welcoming environment that Future has, I felt really supported by the other young people I performed with and the youth workers. Drama is so important because it’s a way young people can get out of their comfort zone, and it can help you find yourself. It’s one of the many reasons why I love going to Future and I wish more young people had access to youth zones with facilities like this, it can have such a positive impact on a person’s wellbeing.’