Full Consent to Speak on My Behalf

Full Consent To Speak On My Behalf refers to a statutory line used by professionals, enabling foster carers to speak on behalf of children in the care system. The performance involves a cast of four, performing quick fire narrations from children who've survived this. The piece, scripted by Serafina Cusack, analyses popular representations of children in care, like Harry Potter and Jacqueline Wilson's fictional character Tracy Beaker. They explore how realistic these fictional experiences of care are, and note the ‘lack of ugly stuff’ in them.

An enlightening expose of a system which is failing our children and young people

This stark portrayal of the care system in the UK has been formed by Good Wolf People Theatre via a series of workshops, utilising verbatim experiences of young people in care. This performance has everything – dynamic ensemble; a capella; synchronised movements; high emotion; pragmatic reality; and even a bit of neuroscience on attachment theory. The range of mechanisms used in the performance means this emotive topic never feels sluggish. The a cappella nods to pop songs heighten the mood at just the right moments, and the actors utilise the few stage accoutrements to great effect. An example of this is when they discuss the unhealthy end to relationships – “one day you’re supported, and then nothing”, and there’s a harsh bang of a box on the floor, resonating around the room and deep into our hearts.

The performance oozes emotion, eloquent descriptors which help the audience empathise with the experiences childen are having in the care system. And director John Handscombe has employed a minimal set, which serves to amplify the voices being spoken as the most important thing in the room. There’s no need for fussy distractions – all our attentions are on the words and the dynamic physicality of the cast. A few boxes, a few books and use of sock puppets change the tempo when appropriate. It’s also notable that the cast are all dressed in the same attire – another nod to feeling like “just another brick in the wall”, a disposable cog in a system which often fails to value individuality.

Care experienced young people are one of the most marginalised and oppressed groups in our country, and in this performance many examples of their every day experiences demonstrate this. The black bin liners they’re given to transport their belongings in - the association with refuse and rubbish landing thickly and morosely. The horrors of multiple placement changes; the lack of information and preparation for being in care and leaving care; the feeling of being “an illegal immigrant in your own home and country,” that sticks with the person long after their care experience is over. The insecure attachments that continue to impact on every relationship they have going forward. It’s not all negative though, and there's several mentions of good experiences in the care system - as well as techniques and affirmations used by young people to help them survive from day to day.

This is an enlightening expose of a system which is failing our children and young people. It’s exquisitely written, credibly acted, and leaves us feeling sadly schooled on the inner workings of the care system in the UK. It’s a fantastic all rounder, and well worth supporting.

Reviews by Jodie McVicar

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Mandy Muden: Is Not the Invisible Woman

★★★★
Army @ The Fringe in Association with Summerhall

Dead Equal

★★★★
The Fawlty Towers Dining Room at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel

Fawlty Towers Live Themed Dinner Show

★★★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Within

★★★★
Assembly Roxy

Pops

★★★★
National Museum of Scotland

Museum Late: Fringe Fridays

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

How are care-experienced people represented to the world? With around 30 years combined experience working with young people in care and care-leavers, Good Wolf has taken this question around Britain to explore existing representations and to find out what are the ones that care-experienced people want to see out there. Using a combination of verbatim interview extracts and fictionalised stories based on drama workshops, Serafina Cusack (King's Head, Royal Court, VAULT) has scripted a beautiful, funny and compelling platform for the voices of those 'represented'.

Most Popular See More

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets