Dende has been toying with the idea to make a play for children or young people for a while. The opportunity to start making such a show arrived when Glypt - a Theatre dedicated to children and young people in Woolwich Arsenal in East London invited Dende to participate in their Progression project, which aims at bringing creative 16 to 25 year olds and professional artists together.
The Story and The Writer
We started working on an adaptation of I.F., a short story by Paul Basset-Davies. I.F. stands for imaginary friend. I.F. tells the story of Simon, a six-year old boy. We see his saga dealing with the death of his father through the voice of his imaginary friend Stoffard. It is a complex story weaving some tough issues such as the loss of his drug-addicted father by overdoses, first love and saying good-bye to those we love. Its main theme is about how children use their imagination to cope with adversity and bullying. Although these topics are serious, they are dealt beautifully and sensitively by Paul Basset-Davies, who visits them through the eyes of a six-year old and the magical world of the IF’s.
A very talented group of young artists worked with Dende Collective Artistic Director Andre Pink for 14 sessions spread over 2 months and together they devised a theatre piece to perform at GLYPT’s Annual Youth Theatre Festival, alongside companies from across London. The final result was a fifteen-minute show telling the first part of the story. As in previous shows from Dende, the work with young people will feed into what might become a professional theatre show.