On 21 August 2007, Sophie Lancaster was beaten unconscious in Stubbeylee Park, Bacup and later died from her injuries in hospital. She was 20 years old, had just passed her A-Levels and was working out what to do with her life.
She was killed because she dressed differently.
Black Roses is described as an elegy for Sophie in which she tells her own story through a series of poems by the award-winning poet Simon Armitage, alongside the words of her mother, Sylvia Lancaster, remembering her daughter’s shortened life. The piece provoked an unprecedented response when it premiered on Radio Four last year, winning the BBC Audio and Music Best Speech Programme of the Year Award.
Now re-imagined for the theatre featuring Rachel Austin and Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street), the play is co-directed by Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom and award-winning BBC Radio Drama Producer Susan Roberts, designed by Amanda Stoodley and lit by Kay Haynes.
The production supports the ongoing work of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which promotes respect and understanding of subcultures in our communities. More information is available at www.sophielancasterfoundation.com.
Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster is at the Royal Exchange Studio from 19 - 29 September.