Why You Should Join In With The Christmas Turkey

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Whether you go to this year’s ‘The Christmas Turkey’, or take part in next years’ Creative Youth Network play, you should definitely get involved, and here’s why.

The Christmas Turkey was a tear-jerking, wonderful performance, which was very real – because it was based on real people and true stories. It centres around different characters celebrating Christmas: an optimistic young mum who’s down on her luck and has been ostracised by her family; two families that are dysfunctional, the mum of one even having had a breakdown on the big day; and a homeless youth who, in a twist, is quite happy not to be involved in the whole Christmas spectacle. Except the spending time with family and friends part… he does mention missing that.

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I talked to the creative producers of the play on why they chose the themes they did and how it all worked. They are a part of Creative Youth Network, who work with disadvantaged young people to get their voices heard and give them opportunities to gain skills and experience. The whole event was very sincere, the stories were true stories; they went to youth clubs and interviewed a variety of young people to see what Christmas meant to them.

The food used in the event came from FareShare, which they felt linked into the ethos of the show. This time of year especially, there’s lots of food that goes to waste, and FareShare works with supermarkets who donate perfectly good food which would have been thrown out otherwise.

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I then talked to the cast about the whole experience and what it was like getting involved. They felt performing true stories gave it an important feel and helped them to care a lot about the issues they were portraying. It was also sad playing these reality-based characters who are struggling so much, however, Abby, for example, (the young mother) is meant to be brave, strong and positive, despite her lonely situation, and thus it encourages hope and shows the strength young people have, which is admirable.

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It had been an intense three weeks leading up to the play, but they made some good friends, and gained some amazing, funny memories from it too.  Their favourite moments were bonding with the other actors, being able to raise awareness about the loneliness people experience, and going to the rehearsals which were full of energy.

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They would really recommend getting involved in next year’s play, whether you’re an actor or just want to have a fun, amazing experience; it is a massive confidence boost and definitely worth it.

Find out more about the Christmas Turkey here. And find out more about Creative Youth Network here.  Have you seen The Christmas Turkey? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

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