The production ‘Though This Be Madness’ comes to Banbury's Mill Arts Centre this weekend

‘School Exclusion to prison pipeline’ exposed by Oxfordshire Theatre Company in the production ‘Though This Be Madness’ set to come to Banbury's Mill Arts Centre this weekend

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 5:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 5:20 pm
The production ‘Though This Be Madness’ will be showing at Banbury's Mill Arts Centre on Friday September 17.

The production ‘Though This Be Madness’ will be showing at Banbury' s Mill Arts Centre on Friday September 17.

The production staged by Oxfordshire-based professional theatre company – Mandala Theatre – is shining a light on shocking statistics which link school exclusions to people serving time in prison. It is a pipeline which accounts for 42 per cent of people in prison in the UK.

Over the last year Mandala Theatre Company has worked with young people in the county who have been excluded from school and with writer Avaes Mohammad to create a dynamic new play ‘Though This Be Madness’, directed by Yasmin Sidhwa, bringing the stories of these young people to the stage.

“We are delighted to be bringing this production to Banbury” Yasmin said. “It is featuring people who have the ‘lived experience of exclusion and get to see their stories on stage. It is an issue which reaches every town and community, so it is a story which needs to be heard.

“I hope that ‘Though this be Madness’ will move, inspire and ask people to challenge the fact that in 2017/2018 only five young people in Scotland were permanently excluded from school, whereas in England during the same period over 7,000 young people were permanently excluded. These statistics tell us that something needs to be done.”

Some of the story has come from work by the Excluded Lives Research Group at Oxford University’s Department of Education who partnered with Mandala Theatre. Their work and insights from the Oxfordshire Virtual School for Cared for Children and Care Leavers have helped to highlight the effects of trauma on young people.

Dr Ian Thompson, associate professor of education at Oxford University, explains why school exclusions are a matter for us all: “School exclusions can have serious consequences for affected pupils in terms of academic achievement, well-being, mental health, and future prospects. However, the exclusion of young people also has long and short-term economic and social consequences for the whole of our society and this should concern us all.”

The ‘Though this be Madness’ Tour will be at The Mill in Banbury on September 17 as part of a national tour.

To book your tickets see the following web link for The Mill Arts Centre: