‘I Love You, Mum – I Promise I Won’t Die’ is a hard-hitting play which tells the story of 16-year-old Daniel Spargo-Mabbs, who died after taking the drug MDMA on a night out with friends. The title of the play uses Dan’s last words to his mother before he left the house to attend an illegal rave in London, January 2014. The play, commissioned by the charity set up in Daniel’s memory, receives its Irish premier in Antrim and Portrush this spring and aims to raise awareness about the danger of party drugs.
Following a successful UK run, featuring at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where the Fringe Review described it as a Highly Recommended Show, the play, written by Mark Wheeler, is being brought to Northern Ireland by local theatre company Ever Unique Productions, an educational theatre company for young people aged 12-19. Performances will take place in the Old Courthouse Antrim, 25th March, followed by a performance in Portrush Townhall, 1st April.
Co-Founder of Ever Unique Productions, Hannah Reilly explained the collaborative process involved in bringing Dan’s story to the stage:
“The young people involved in the process have been working alongside Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, Dan’s mother and the playwright Mark Wheeler, receiving guidance on the process of the play, the real events and what Dan was like as a person. The play captures that fateful evening with heart- breaking effect, told using the words of Dan’s family and friends.”
Co-Founder Martina McAfee added: “When we set up Ever Unique Productions in 2020 our aim was to help young people build their confidence and resilience through the power of theatre and film. This production allows us to engage with the issue of drug use, the risks our young people face and the consequences of the decisions they make.”
The play, already used as part of a drug education programme in schools across the UK, aims to educate the young people of Northern Ireland and their families about the risk of making just one bad decision. Ever Unique Productions are proudly partnered with ASCERT NI, a local drugs and alcohol charity for this project. ASCERT NI are putting the young actors through drug awareness training and providing a presence at theatres offering advice and support for anyone affected by the content on the night and promoting their services.
Ever Unique Productions will also be hosting fundraising events in support of ASCERT NI which they hope will help them continue their work of reducing the harm caused by drugs and alcohol. These events are ideal for those who are unable to attend the productions but would like to know more about the work carried out by the charity. You can find out more by visiting Ever Unique Productions website or by following social media channels.
The theatre group has also set up a Just Giving page to support the staging of this production. You can donate by visiting the following Crowdfunding to fund 2 performances of ‘I Love You, Mum – I Promise I Won’t Die’ performed by local young people to raise drug taking awareness on JustGiving
At a time when drug related deaths are on the increase, with NISRA reporting a 40% increase in 2020 from 2017, it is hoped that this play, which uses the voices of young people to speak to other young people, will help open the door to important conversations about the risk of drug taking.
For any families, youth group or school groups interested in the show, don’t miss out, tickets are available to book online now on the Ever Unique Productions website Classes | Ever Unique Productions