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The Last Newspaper

The Last Newspaper

Directed by Dr Rachel King and Jouvan Fucinni.

The Belgrade’s Canley Youth Theatre in association with the University of Warwick presented The Last Newspaper on Thursday 23 & Friday 24 March 2017 at the Humanities Studio, University of Warwick and the Shop Front Theatre, Coventry.

Our story takes place in the future – Once Upon a Tomorrow to be exact. In the divided town of Paperville, Grandma lives with her two grandchildren Jack and Jill. Despite the distractions of digital screens and Candy Houses made by The Three Little Pigs Limited, their world is unsettled by the arrival of a lost fisherwoman who asks them where she might find a library in their town. When Jack and Jill explain that they don’t know what a library is, Grandma knows it’s finally time to tell the truth and she sends them on a quest to find The Last Newspaper. In a fictional fairy-tale world of post-truth and alternative facts, who can be trusted?

Dr Rachel King (Centre for Education Studies) has been working with The Belgrade’s Canley Youth Theatre, Jouvan Fucinni (Youth Theatre Director) and Angela Evans (Youth Worker, Coventry Integrated Youth Services) to explore young people’s feelings about their future. We have been asking what they hope for, what they care about and what they fear and loathe. This ensemble performance of The Last Newspaper invited you into a dystopian fairy tale world of post-truth and alternative facts.

Directors Note from Jouvan Fucinni and Dr Rachel King:

Following their successful collaboration in June 2016 for the Radical Hope project, Rachel King has been delighted to work with the Belgrade Canley Youth Theatre (CYT) and Jouvan Fucinni once again. The focus this year has been on young people’s feelings about their future. We have been asking what they hope for, that they care about and what they fear and loathe.
The Last Newspaper has been created out of the young people’s many concerns about local, regional, national and international matters. Over the course of the year, we have witnessed some of the CYT’s members playing a active role in campaigning against the proposed cuts to Coventry’s Youth Services. Meanwhile, the wider national and international issues of Brexit, the on-going refugee crisis, the rise of social media and celebrity culture and the election of President Trump have all found their way into our rehearsal room. All too often, our society dismissed stories as mere entertainment, and forgets the power that they have over our Moral principles and real worldview. The Last Newspaper is the outcome of the participants’ efforts to create a fictional story that mirrors the real world they see before them.
This event aimed to provoke discussion about the ways theatre and performance can foster young people’s sense of civic engagement.

Hope, Care and Civic Engagement

This film was the product from the collaborative research project between the Belgrade’s Canley Youth Theatre, Coventry Youth Services and Warwick University. The group focused on the themes of Hope, Care and Civic Engagement and what it meant to them. The group worked on the project with Dr Rachael King, the UK lead for Professor Kathleen Gallagher’s international, multi-sited and collaborative research project; Youth, Theatre, Radical Hope and the Ethical Imaginary: an intercultural investigation of drama pedagogy, performance and civic engagement.