When being that little bit different can be a good thing after all…
8 year old Lexi doesn’t make friends as easily as some. If only her school would allow a non-school uniform day then she could be herself and find others like her. Inspired by Grandad’s hippy stories from the swinging 60s, she decides to fight the powers that be, namely her class teacher, Mr Marsh, and the class bully, Suzy.
Friends For All was an interactive spoken word performance for families, with rapping, dancing and far-out video projections. It was a story about having the confidence to be yourself and stand up for what you believe in.
Poet and rapper Simon Mole performed in this humorous and moving piece, co-created with theatre maker Peader Kirk.
Commissioned by the V&A as part of the Family Art Fun Programme and inspired by their You Say You Want a Revolution exhibition (2016/17). Developed with support from Apples and Snakes, the Albany, University of Bedfordshire and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England.
Toured nationally as part of Half Moon Presents during 2017-2018.
“Visually interesting and mentally stimulating, this ambitious production tackles the subject of bullying without being condescending, but through opening a discussion and encouraging participation. Mole is the only performer, with all the other characters brought to life through interactive projections. This visual edge gives the whole production an unexpectedly cinematic flair, making Friends for All a smart and original play…. A versatile performer, Mole has the craft of storytelling down to a tee, so much so that when the show finishes, there’s no applause – there’s silence. Left in rapture, everyone in the audience is enthralled by Mole’s riveting performance and his powerful message.”
“An intelligent, thoughtful and considered production which kept the audience’s attention throughout…. Inventive, powerful and effective…. The issues are totally in tune with the target age-group…. Friends for All is presented by Half Moon, a name to be trusted in theatre for young people both now and indeed for many years: look out for Friends For All as it tours in 2018. It is likely to lead to interesting discussions afterwards at home or school due to the issues with which it grapples and the skill and invention of writer and performer Simon Mole and director and designer Peader Kirk.”
“Friends For All is fortuitously timed, offering young audiences a lesson in sticking it to the man and standing up for your rights just when they’re most likely to need it…. The play suggests that it’s just as vital for young people to question the rules and think for themselves, developing the critical thinking skills that will equip them for a future of informed decision-making and political awareness.”
(Children’s Theatre Reviews)
“Simon Mole engages with the audience from the outset and manages to keep the young audience enthralled for the whole 45-minute duration of the show…. Friends for All encourages our children to hear and see for themselves, to ask questions and then seek to find their own conclusions. Performance and art is perhaps the most powerful medium that we have in encouraging change and revolution and this charming production pitches this idea perfectly to young minds.”
“A really excellent performance with a clear aim to empower youngsters and help them realise they are already special, and they already have the ability to create change…. The lighting and projection were virtually spot on, timed to perfection….Lone performer Simon Mole was brilliant. He captivated his audience and very naturally encouraged participation…. Friends For All is empowering. It teaches wise lessons we know as adults to be true. Everyone is unique and we are all special, we just have to find our own way to bloom. We don’t have to pretend to be someone else in order to impress anyone…. The messages in Friends For All are really important to youngsters…. The success of the entire show rests mainly on Simon Mole’s performance and he didn’t disappoint.”
(The Brick Castle)
“Friends For All is a cool yet quirky performance that effortlessly encompasses all the key themes on revolutions and protest for young minds.”
(Afia Yeboah, Victoria & Albert Museum – Performance Programme Manager)
“The storytelling capabilities of Simon Mole are endless and continue to astound.”
(Bea Colley, Southbank Centre – Participation Producer)
“Simon is an amazing poet with extraordinary linguistic skills, and has a natural talent with young people.”
(Tim Connelly, Librarian, Downham library.)
“Very engaging and thought-provoking – also for the grown-ups!”
“A wonderful, confirming experience for any child feeling uncertain!”
“Enjoyable, clever. A nice way to remind our children and ourselves that we are all different!”