Students, parents and staff were moved to tears this week by a performance of the hard-hitting drama, “I Love You Mum – I Promise I Won’t Die.”
Year 11 students at Longhill High worked hard with their Head of Drama, Ms Fenwick, to recreate the play, written by Mark Wheeller.
The play recounts the tragic events of a fateful evening in 2014, when Daniel Spargo-Mabbs and his friends attended an illegal rave and experimented with the drug MDMA. This resulted in fatal consequences for Dan and the play looks at the impact of his death from the different perspectives of those involved, using their own words and video footage.
PE teacher Ms Buxton, who watched the play, told us, “It was an amazing performance, particularly in view of the personal experiences of this year-group, who sadly lost one of their friends last year due to an accident.” She continued, “It was extremely poignant and I was so impressed by the students’ composure and the respect shown in their performance.”
The students themselves were insistent on taking on the task of performing the drama when they first read it. Here are some of their thoughts:
“The more times I read through the script, the more I became attached to the character; knowing the end of the play – what actually happens – was heart-breaking.” Daniel Sennett, who played Dan Spargo-Mabbs.
“I think it’s made me think a lot about the effects of drugs in our society and with younger people especially.” Archie Redgrave, who played Dan’s father.
“I felt that it was really important, that I had to get it right, that I had some sort of job to do. It was an honour in a way.” Alex Ridley who played Dan’s mother.
Head of Drama, Ms Fenwick, explained, “I was extremely proud of all the students. It’s been a big journey,” she told us, “From first read-through, to meeting Fiona (Dan’s mum) and becoming absorbed in the story.” Has it been an emotional experience? “There have been tears and laughs and everything in between,” she said. “We were sad to say ‘goodbye’ to the project, but it’s something we will always remember. “
“I’m pleased that we were able to give something back by raising money for the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation and that we will be helping to continue their work on raising drug awareness by rolling out Dan’s story to our students in their PSHE lessons.”
For information on the Daniel-Spargo Mabbs Foundation, please go to http://www.dsmfoundation.org.uk/