Dagenham students write for West End stage stars

Young thespians have been honing their writing skills with the help of professional playwrights and actors, along with one of the country’s most renowned theatres.

Students aged 16 to 18 from Jo Richardson Community School, Gale Street, Dagenham, have been taking part in an initiative by the Donmar Warehouse to encourage playwriting skills.

The school started their work with the theatre in September, when pupils met Tim Price, the writer of the Donmar’s current production Salt, Root & Roe and the director of the play, Hamish Pirie.

They were joined by A-level and BTEC students from two other schools – Lambeth College and Beacon School in Banstead – at the Trafalgar Studios in the West End.

They also had the chance to take part in a series of master classes.

Since then all the students have been working on their own pieces, with the project culminating last week when a selection of the students’ scripts were chosen to be performed by actors on the stage of Trafalgar Studios, watched by the production’s cast members Imogen Stubbs and Anna Calder-Marshall.

The students were also given tickets to watch Salt, Root & Roe, which was specially commissioned for the Donmar Trafalgar Season.

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Michael Grandage, artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, said: “The whole of the Trafalgar season is geared towards young people so I am particularly delighted that the education work for Salt, Root & Roe has been so rewarding and so well achieved.”

The project was run by the theatre and housing contractor United House.