Hi, I am Bex Culshaw, and I am a professional actor and the Artistic Director of Roots Theatre. Roots Theatre is a contemporary theatre company based in Merseyside that uses live performance to confront important social issues that affect women.
This campaign is to raise money for our theatre project after it sadly had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic last year. The project includes five performances of the powerful play “Blackbird” by David Harrower at the Hope Street Theatre in Liverpool, with a series of women’s workshops integrated into the rehearsal process. Blackbird challenges audiences and workshop attendees to consider the long-lasting impact of child sexual abuse.
I was thrilled to be funded by Arts Council England in February 2020 for this project and put together a fantastic team of experienced and emerging artists. Everyone was working so hard towards the project when we were suddenly forced to stop due to the coronavirus pandemic. I am delighted to say that we are now working towards Blackbird again ready for delivery from 29th September 2021. The restarting of the delivery and rehearsal process has resulted in a shortfall of £6,000 to complete this project. Due to their funding conditions, Arts Council England cannot offer any further funding, and this is where we really need your support!
Your donation will help us to deliver an important theatre project that raises awareness about child sexual abuse and to make sure all artists involved are paid fairly for their work. Any donation is hugely appreciated no matter what the size. If you can’t afford to donate any money right now, please share this on social media so we can reach as many people as possible. Thank you.
More about Blackbird
Blackbird is an award-winning play that tells the story of a sexual relationship between a 12-year-old girl and a 40-year-old man; the action takes place 15 years after the relationship, asking uncomfortable questions about the complex aftermath of child sexual abuse. “One of the most daring new plays of recent years” - Sunday Herald.
The subject matter is a significant issue in society given that 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused, with girls more likely to experience sexual abuse (NSPCC research, 2021). The aim is to bring further awareness to those affected by child sexual abuse, using theatre as a powerful medium for doing this. This is a key outcome of the project given that child sexual abuse is often not reported.
The women’s workshops will be followed by a discussion of important social issues affecting women and the attendees’ attitudes towards arts and culture. We will be working with women’s groups and charities across Merseyside.
Sam Donovan – Manager at the Hope Street Theatre in Liverpool says:
“We can’t wait to have Roots Theatre back in the building. This will be their third production with us and each one so far has been a highlight of the season. Roots always choose contemporary and socially relevant texts and create poignant and truthful work. We were so excited for Blackbird and that Roots would be teaming up with some wonderful creatives. Blackbird is going to be such an explosion of a show to re-open the theatre in September.”
More about Roots Theatre
We have a particular interest in socially aware theatre and make sure women’s stories are being told through all our productions. Previous work includes:
Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore.
This tragicomedy about the friendship and life challenges of three women who met at university was Roots Theatre's debut production in October 2018.
“This three-hander requires opinionated, sexually aware women and this is what we got from the individually stunning performances of the three women” (Reviewer Number Nine)
Consent by Nina Raine.
Consent is a play that questions what constitutes consensual sex. This was Roots Theatre's second production in October 2019.
“It is a challenging, emotionally intense and thought-provoking play with a superb cast.” (North West End.)
As part of the production of Consent, we supported the charity RASA Merseyside; we raised money and awareness for this wonderful charity that supports women who have been sexually abused at any point in their life.
Visit our website to find out more Roots Theatre
Where does your donation go?
Your donation will be essential for use towards paying artists and creatives fees, to make sure everyone is paid fairly for their work. These artists include the director, producer, actors, production manager, set and costume designer, lighting designer, composer, videographer and photographer.
The remaining costs needed for this project will be covered by ticket sales. These costs include venue hire, set and props materials, marketing to ensure the project reaches the target audiences, and paying the remaining artists fees.
What else can you do to support?
Share, share, share!
Please share this campaign on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It might not seem like much, but it really does have a huge impact - money doesn’t grow on trees, but it definitely does grow with shares!
Thank you for your support!