After a headteacher forces Mr Dennis to distance himself from a friendless pupil, he hits back at the failing education system. But his shocking video creates unimaginable consequences for himself and those around him. Will his efforts bind people closer together or drive them apart? Who is he really fighting for? And can he find the smell in his kitchen?
Badgers Can't Be Friends is a fast-paced offbeat comedy which explores the negative consequences our education system has on the mental health of teachers, students and their families.
After a hugely successful run in June 2018, the plan was to bring the show to more audiences at Edinburgh Fringe 2020, giving back to teachers in the process – by offering free tickets to teachers and by raising money and awareness for Education Support (the UK’s only dedicated mental health support charity for the education workforce). Like many companies, our performance and fundraising plans were derailed by the pandemic, with the Edinburgh Fringe 2020 unable to go ahead.
With the additional pressures and dangers that teachers face in the wake of COVID-19, the issues surrounding our education system and the wellbeing of teachers and students alike has never been more relevant. There are a record number of educators leaving the profession, and demand for helplines is increasing year on year. 1 in 5 teachers experience panic attacks, and suicide risk among primary school teachers is 42% higher than the general population.
We hope to bring the show to Edinburgh Fringe 2021, to extend a hand of support to educators after a turbulent year, and to provide an affordable and well-deserved night out for all affected - to laugh, to be heard, and to recharge.
Who are we?
Raving Mask is a London-based theatre company, specialising in absurdist and contemporary theatre. With the unique offbeat style of writer Joseph Skelton running through its veins, Raving Mask is proud to claim multiple successful productions, including The Noctambulist (★★★★★ BroadwayBaby) and Fat Jewels (★★★★★ SpyInTheStalls).
Joseph is joined on the creative team by Director Hamish Clayton (Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons - ★★★★★ PocketSizedTheatre) and Producer Dani Treseder (Swing By Around 8 - ★★★★★ BroadwayBaby). Bringing the story to life is our superb cast: Marcus Taylor (Radical, Soho Theatre), Kamilah Shorey (Tiger Mum, Theatre503) and Magdalena Jasiniak (The Runner (2019)). And that’s it!
Most of the Badgers cast and creatives have either worked in schools or lived with someone who did. Some of us have earned our money during the pandemic through working in schools or tutoring. Some of us have lost our jobs because of the pandemic, and have been volunteering for arts charities or developing sanitation equipment. Needless to say, we have all been personally affected by the issues currently facing the education system and the arts sector, so we cannot wait to bring Badgers Can't Be Friends back to the stage!
What do we need the funds for?
Our original fundraising strategy heavily relied on sponsorship (from organisations which are no longer in a position to offer it) and comedy fundraiser nights (which we are no longer able to host). Therefore, in order to achieve our objective, we need help covering the costs for:
- Venue Hire
- Registration Fee
- Accommodation and Travel
This enables us to commit to free tickets for teachers, and to support low-income participants to participate in the project.
10% of profits will go to Education Support, plus any cash donations collected after each performance.
“I can’t donate but I still want to help!”
Thank you! You’re a superstar, we love and appreciate that energy, and there are actually a few ways you can help instead of (or as well as!) donating:
- You can learn more about Education Support and the work they do to support the mental health and wellbeing of the education workforce here.
- You can help spread the word about our project by sharing the campaign.
- You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for updates.
- You can come and watch the show! We hope to organise previews in London and Sheffield for July 2021, followed by a three week run at Edinburgh Fringe, so keep your eyes peeled for ticket announcements!
Thank you for taking the time to consider donating to our campaign. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a message on social media!