In 2014 at Spectrum’s annual winter workshop for our postgraduate continued education programme, we focussed on the manifestation and fallout of abuse. We invited the author and playwright Nell Dunn to share with us her newest work, “The Bully Plays”. These plays were written to be studied, discussed, adapted and performed by students in secondary schools as a way to recognise and to develop skills for dealing with bullying. The plays were based on real bullying events that Nell heard about in her research before writing.
As part of our responsibility for understanding these issues in our psychotherapy and counselling work, a group formed to discuss and perform some of the plays at the workshop. We found the dimension of performing the plays, rather than simply reading them, made them alive, more real than the usual two dimensions of case studies.
In small groups, the 130 participants at the winter workshop discussed their personal and professional experience of bullying and the issues presented in the plays. Responses, feedback and suggestions were then shared in the large group with Nell, who came to the workshop, and other participants.
This autumn Nell has generously published the entire collection of “The Bully Plays” on the internet so that anyone who wishes to read them, share them or perform them can have open access.
The plays are important and we wanted to share them further. They are heart-achingly honest and confronting and afford us so much exploration. You can download them at http://www.thebullyplays.com/assets/the_bully_plays_final_lowres_reference.pdf
And once more we wish to thank Nell for her insight, generosity and great gift.