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The King's Speech inspires a project for young who stammer.

THIS week a group of young people who stammer took part in an intensive week of theatre and therapy in a project inspired by the Birmingham

premiere of a brand new production of The King's Speech.

Twenty young people were invited to take part in intensive speech and language therapy (SLT) sessions and theatre workshops over five days at The REP as part of a ground-breaking partnership between Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) and the citywide SLT service for children and young people, provided by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

The King's Speech, starring Jason Donovan as Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue and Raymond Coulthard as King George VI, runs at The REP from February 27 to March 7. Throughout the 'theatre and therapy' week, the young people, aged 11 to 16, will write, produce and perform in an original piece of drama to be filmed and premiered at a 'family friendly' SLT showcase event at The REP on Saturday, February 28.

Ali Beard, professional clinical lead for the children's SLT service said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for a group of young people who stammer to gain new experiences and skills which will be hugely beneficial in building their confidence in communicating.

"The King's Speech story shows how therapy can make a significant difference to the life of a person with a stammer."

Michael O'Hara, head of learning and participation at The REP, said: "At the very heart of our play, The King's Speech, is the fundamental desire to find one's voice and be heard.

"This is true of us all.

The opportunity for The REP to work with speech and language therapists and use our drama workshop expertise to inspire confidence in young people who experience language fluency issues is utterly compelling to me."

" The SLT showcase will also include:| Information about the citywide children's SLT service; | Drop-in advice sessions with speech and language therapists; | Demonstrations of how SLT can help with a range of communication needs; | Taster sessions in Makaton signing; | Information about how schools and other youth settings can get additional SLT support.

National exhibitors at the showcase will include the Communication Trust, the British Stammering Association, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the Giving Voice campaign. A smaller showcase event for professionals will be held at The REP on Thursday, March 5. Both events are from 10am to midday. For more information about the showcase, please email:


Young participants in The King's Speech fluency project at The REP. Pictures: Ade Marsh Photography

Therapy service |users Charlie Morton, Ammaarah Samuel, Crystal Marshall, Israel Beckford-Armstrong and Tyrece Coke

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 20, 2015
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