The initial idea for the show was a solo performance devised by Claire Louise Portelli in 2010 during her graduating year of drama school.
In 2015 the idea of the show was re-addressed when Naked Frank Theatre teamed up with Fixers UK to produce a short film on homophobia in schools as part of the Stop It Before It Starts! campaign. It was during this process that the original characters, Rachel, Shannon and Lucy, were formed.
Inspired by the film, Before It Starts officially began as an R&D project in March 2016 where it was written to be a T.I.E production. After touring to schools in the Essex community the company went back to the drawing board to reform the idea.
"With the increase in cyber-bullying we felt that this should be a bigger feature within the piece."
Before It Starts is a mixture of part verbatim and theatrical elaboration, with truthful spoken and written accounts, real experiences and factual events being featured within the writing.
Growing up is hard and when a new girl starts school and reveals her controversial sexuality her friends have a lot to laugh about. But when the jokes turn sour and the playful banter becomes bullying, the group realise they have a lot to be sorry for. The Twitter posts and Facebook groups that feature in the show are all real words that are still in public view to this day. The account names have all been changed to conceal individual identities.
★★★★★ Everything is in place: enthusiasm, integrity, uncompromising message: the result is a highly effective piece of theatre. Peter Yates, London Theatre 1
CAST Carleigh-Ann Portelli Claire Louise Portelli Rebecca Briley
LIGHTING TECHNICIAN Thomas Cheeseman
SOUND TECHNICIAN Thomas Cheeseman
MUSIC A Himitsu Bensound DJInterstar Ross Bugden NeLaS Sirius Beat Silent Partner Sava Marinkovic Dennis Pettard
PRODUCER Naked Frank Theatre
SPECIAL THANKS TO Lisa Briley Andy Hardaker Sherrie Hardaker Laura Holland Dennis Pettard Silvie Pettard Stacey Pettard Joe Portelli Michelle Portelli Neville Portelli Sue Simpson Vincent Vernez Sherrie's Dancewear Miskin Theatre
TOUR VENUES Camden People's Theatre The Maud Bread & Roses Theatre Etcetera Theatre Blue Elephant Theatre