Join Gazebo and Central Youth Theatre as they 'Head in The Right Direction'

HeadStart is reaching out into Wolverhampton communities, and especially into the four target areas that are the focus for HeadStart Universal and Universal+ support. We wanted to highlight and share the benefits of HeadStart with parents and the community in those areas, and to let them know what they can expect from HeadStart as the programme develops with new opportunities for young people in schools and the community. HeadStart therefore commissioned Gazebo Theatre and Central Youth Theatre to create a theatre show for parents. The show, titled ‘Head In the Right Direction’, shares the objectives of HeadStart through drama, dance, and role play.

The premiere of the show took place at Bilston Town Hall last Wednesday, with further shows scheduled soon.

Future showings of 'Head in the Right Direction'

  • Thursday 27th April, 6pm. Venue: The Big Venture Centre, 15, Chesterton Road, The Scotlands, WV10 8SP
  • Friday 28th April, 6.30pm. Venue: Eastfields Community Centre, Colliery Road, Off Willenhall Road, WV1 2QY
  • Saturday 13th May, 11am. Venue: Moreton School, Old Fallings Road, Bushbury WV10 8BY
  • Monday 22nd May, 11am. Venue: Bob Jones Centre, (in partnership with Re-entry), Bromley Street, Blakenhall, WV2 4AS

Members of the HeadStart team attended the premiere. Here is what Tara, from the HeadStart Young Person Engagement Team ( said about the performance.

Thoughts on 'Head in the Right Direction'

Key messages were present throughout the entire performance. It was really relatable to families and young people in Wolverhampton. The show explored the pressures young people are faced with on a daily basis, as they try to conform to the media’s image of perfection:

I’ve learned it’s the imperfections that make me stand out … that’s what makes me unique

The performers cleverly represented a range of family set ups and home environments, including both the stereotypical, and unconventional! They portrayed a number of serious issues which affect many of our young people today; online bullying, grooming and sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide were all touched upon. The performers delivered an insight into both sides of each scenario, capturing the concerns, frustrations and effects that situations have on both a young person and their family members.

I was raised in a household where discipline and hard work was drilled into me as a lad! What ever happened to a stiff upper lip. I believe in tough love
I feel my mother is suffocating me, she just won’t let me breath…it’s like a huge heavy weight weighing me down

The performers explored the question “What is normal?”, and generational change in how we see gender roles, sexuality and diversity in society. The message was that there is no one size fits all, and that every family unit is different and has its own way of functioning. With support from HeadStart, it will be possible to make use of new tools and skills to improve family life and relationships; no quick fixes, certainly, but HeadStart working with parents and families to make long-term positive change a reality.

Investing our time to share our stories, might mean someone else who may be suffering or in a similar situation may be able to see a positive way forward
It’s ok to not be ok!