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22 Feb



The 4th Wall

February 22, 2009 | By | 5 Comments

I have just finished working on ‘Da Boyz’, a production addressing issues around gang culture and community voice. It is written by former Brookside and Emmerdale scribe Carol Cullington, and is directed by Ruth Ben-Tovim whom I worked with on theĀ Be My Guest project. A key creative decision was taken early on to stage the play in a way that the audience would be incorporated into the set, and that parts of the set would be used for video projections relaying key plot point (texts from characters) and also giving a sense of place.

The set was skillfully designed by Leeds-based Emma Williams, and made in such a way that it could be rigged with lights. The pictures below show how different locations were back-projected onto tracing paper (a cheap alternative to BP screen), and give an idea of how close the audience were to the action. The play tours for the next week around various commubity centres in Liverpool including Kensington, Garston and Croxteth.

Da Boyz asbo

da Boyz newsagent


Da Boyz shop

Da Boyz cullo


  1. Sarah Deane

    We saw ‘Da Boyz’ at the press event last night at the CUC/NOVAS Centre. The production was superb; the set, the script, the cast (the acting was passionate and totally believable) and the result was extremely powerful. Well done to everyone involved.

    I hope ‘Da Boyz’ reaches the audiences who really need to see it, it’s an important piece of social theatre that, even if it changes the wayward path of just one young person, will have done its job.

  2. admin

    Thankyou Sarah for your comment.

    I was very proud to be part of the production and to work with such a talented and positive team. It was a lot of work from everyone. I think the importance of the play was that it allows you to see all characters’ points of view, and opens up a discussion between those perspectives. This then was realised with the workshop afterwards where we had different generations listening to each others’ very different opinions and beliefs.

    The Novas show was in someways out of context, as it was the only show not rooted in a community as such (previous shows were in Kensingtion, Garston, Croxteth, and so on), but it gave other people a chance to see how the production worked. In some ways it’s job was not just to open dialogue about the issues, but to prove to people the ‘community theatre’ can be and is a cutting edge artistic practice. Following the success of the first phase of the show, I believe Carol Cullington, the writer, is trying to find funding for a second phase to tour it around more communities.

  3. Maureen Fitzsimmons

    I watched Da Boyz What a shock!! How Superb! Represented all aspects of culture within communities today.. Well done Carol Hard hitting!

  4. Jinny

    I am really interested in reading this play as I would love to bring the production to Birmingham, UK as knife and gun crime is continuously on the rise. How can I get hold of a copy? Many thanks.

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