Poem written by award-winning Sheffield teen is now a nationally touring play

A Sheffield teenager is an international award winning poet and has now written three screenplays at the age of 16.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:30 pm

Molly Meleady-Hanley first started writing poems at the age of nine or ten but wrote her most successful poem, now a national touring theatre play, ‘Me Brother Dan’ at the age of eleven.

“I always loved theatre and musical theatre and I thought: ‘How can I do that?’ and then I started writing poems to express all these feelings I had inside of me,” said Molly, 16.

Molly said that she was influenced by a play she saw with her mother called Playing for Time - a story set in WW2 Auschwitz.

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Molly, with her Uncle, Patrick Meleady

This inspired her to write the poem, and turn it into the nationally successful play.

“I remember being fascinated by the war and how everyone was affected not just the soldiers but the families that were affected.

Me Brother Dan is about a boy who goes to war.

Poster cover of Molly Meleady-Hanley's Play, Me Brother Dan

“There is a line at the end of the Poem where Lizzie says: ‘Why do they kill caterpillars and then complain that there are no butterflies?’ and that was to express how those who died young in the war, were never able to grow up and live out their lives.”

Molly went on to say that the story is told from the perspective of Dan’s little sister Lizzie, particularly because she wanted to tell the story through a child’s eyes.

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“We always hear about history through the adult’s eyes - I wanted to tell a story through a child’s experience of the war to her and her family,” Molly said.

Poster cover of Molly Meleady-Hanley's Play, Steel Suffragettes

Me Brother Dan was first performed at the Crucible in March here in Sheffield and is now a nationally touring play.

“When I’m 18, I’m hoping to go to drama school and pursue a career in musical theatre, acting and play writing. I’d like to go to the big name schools in London like Guilford or Mountview but it would also be nice to be close to home too,” added Molly.