This participatory project took children back to the dark and dangerous times of the nineteenth century when work started almost as soon as the children were able to walk. Long hours, low pay and unhealthy conditions were the realities of most children’s lives. Time for education and leisure was considered dangerous by some and not encouraged for working people. Children for Sale enabled audiences to explore attitudes to work, both past and present, through drama, music and participation.
Ruth Sheen was an actor who performed at Half Moon Theatre on Mile End Road in the early 1980s and then joined the young people’s theatre company. She talks about Children For Sale, an interactive play for children set in a nineteenth century cotton factory. Interviewed by Khalilah Lubega.