Youth theatre to stage musical in tribute to Hillsborough victims

Pupils from Fareham Musical Society Youth Theatre with, far left, musical director Louise Helyer and Stuart Frank in the middle Picture: The Franks
Pupils from Fareham Musical Society Youth Theatre with, far left, musical director Louise Helyer and Stuart Frank in the middle Picture: The Franks
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NINETY-SIX football fans lost their lives nearly 30 years ago – and in tribute to victims of the Hillsborough disaster, a youth theatre is staging a production of Their Scarves Were Red.

The Fareham Musical Society Youth Theatre has been rehearsing the musical, which tells the story of two young football fans making their way to the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989.

Director Stuart Frank said: ‘The production is all about friendship and family and making sure people live for the moment and don’t take anything for granted.’

The show is based on a script and score created in the ’90s and was originally planned to be staged in Liverpool for the 10-year anniversary. But due to the ongoing inquest, the idea was scrapped.

Stuart said: ‘It is a sensitive subject and when I was first approached to do the show I initially had reservations. But after reading the script I have realised it is important to highlight this disaster for this generation and how such tragedies can leave repercussions for many years.’

The show has a cast of 45 people from seven to 18 years old.

Stuart added: ‘We sat down and watched footage from the event so the children could understand what happened and how this performance is unlike any other we have done previously and it carries such importance.’

The cast have been working in conjunction with the Justice For Hillsborough Campaign and proceeds from the show will go to the campaign.

Stuart said: ‘We have the backing from the campaign and we also have a group of Liverpool fans coming down to the show, so it is really great that they are showing their support.’

Freya O’Grady, 14, is a playing the steward and said the production was one that was close to her heart.

‘The production means a lot to me, especially as my mum is from Liverpool and many of her family members remember the disaster and were affected,’ she said.

‘I believe this is a very important production for the youth theatre as it is certainly making us think about the Hillsborough disaster and just how many families with children of their age were killed in such a dreadful way.’

The performance features original numbers including ballads, duets, solos and group pieces.

Stuart added: ‘I would say anyone who thinks this is not the right medium to tell this story that they need to give it a chance and come along and see for themselves.’

The opening performance is on February 15 with four shows across the weekend.

To purchase tickets visit farehammusicalsociety.com/fmsyt-shows