South Yorkshire theatre shows BFF and Youthquake explore bullying and young people being heard

Two shows that look at the challenges in life facing young people today are on stage in South Yorkshire next week.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 4:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 3:56 pm
Youthquake at The Civic in Barnsley

New show BFF will be performed at The Montgomery Theatre & Arts Centre in Surrey Street, Sheffield on Thursday, November 14 to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week.

Internationally-acclaimed, Sheffield-based performer Mary-Frances Doherty gives an insightful and stunning solo performance.

BFF was showcased in its early stages at the Sheffield SheFest celebration of International Women’s Day earlier this year.

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The story is about a young girl’s exploration of friendship.

On her first day at school, Chloe meets Sophie and just knows they will be best friends.

Excited at the possibilities, Chloe shares her journey online as she navigates her way through life.

But you can’t always control everything and best friends don’t always stay like that forever.

Sheffield-based performer Mary-Frances Doherty in BFF, a show about cyber bullying

Soon Chloe discovers how easily things can spiral out of control and what it really takes to be a best friend.

Mary-Frances Doherty has been working with The Montgomery to develop the show in time for Anti-Bullying Week.

She will also be running workshops with the Year 7 students of Silverdale School during the course of the week.

“Cyber-bullying is a growing issue amongst young people, so the workshops are a really important part of the project,” said Mary-Frances.

“We hope to help combat the problem so that young people can feel safer online, and help to enhance their well-being and confidence.”

The performance at The Montgomery has been supported by charity the James Neill Trust Fund.

To book tickets, go to

The second show, Youthquake, looks at the issue of the empowerment of young people who want to change the world.

Youthquake. Noun. Definition: a significant, cultural, social or political movement arising from the actions and influence of young people.

Think Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai.

We have watched and read the news, the stories: a rise in mental health issues, public service cuts, waves of violent crime… enter Becky.

Becky is 30 years old and wants to make a difference.

Frustrated with her peers her age, she sets her sights on empowering the next generation.

She’s got an inspirational presentation all set up, ready and raring to go - except, there’s just one problem.

You see, the Youthquake has already begun, and she’s simply been talking too much to realise.

The award-winning Zest Theatre gives the stage to a show developed through conversations with 800 young people from across the country.

It uses their words and opinions to give voice to a generation often left unheard.

The show was devised by the company and inspired by young people.

The producers say: “Part show, part TED Talk and part party, Youthquake takes you on an exhilarating journey through the hidden lives of Teen Britain and asks what it actually means to change the world.”

Youthquake is at The Civic in Barnsley from November 12-15. For tickets, go to or call 01226 327000.