The auditorium at the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton fell silent on Friday evening as twelve young care leavers took to the stage to perform a play which depicted their struggles leaving the care system.

Dear Care, I’m leaving was produced in just two weeks and played to a full house as part of National Care Leavers Week. Poignant at times, but engaging and humorous, our amateur actors and performers gave the audience an insight into some of the highs and lows of the care system, and illustrated their personal hopes and dreams for the future, through acting, music, dance and film.

We put the performance together with the help of writer Nadège René, herself a care leaver, and it was directed by professional actors Jennie Gruner and Tom Colley.

Martha Wansbrough, Director of Drive Forward said: “When Tom Colley approached us with the idea of putting on a play with only two weeks’ rehearsal I must say I was sceptical that this could be achieved.  On Friday, however, the personal stories that the young people had the courage to share with the audience were breathtaking in their vulnerability and honesty.

“They have relished the chance to support one another in this endeavour and that has been affirming for the team at Drive Forward who have been working “behind the scenes” to ensure a great night.”

With their confidence boosted, and hopefully an understanding of the power of their own stories, our brilliant young cast members are back at Drive Forward this week working on their career goals. Their future ambitions range from pursuing careers in acting, dancing and singing to working in the health and social sector, and becoming a pilot.

You can see more photos from Dear Care, I’m leaving on our Facebook page.