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16 May 2017

Former students work together for debut performance at Storyhouse.

Two University of Chester graduates are about to make their debut performance as some of the first actors to tread the boards at Storyhouse, Chester’s brand new theatre, cinema and library.

 Hayley Riley and Louise Evans

Caption: Hayley Riley and Louise Evans

Hayley Riley, 29, and Louise Evans, 27, both studied Drama and Theatre Studies at the University before forming the two-woman theatre company, Haylo Theatre. Based in Chester, they write and perform theatre which explores many complex life issues. In particular, they target difficult subjects in the health, social care and education sectors, through bespoke theatre performances and workshops. 
 
Haylo Theatre will be performing their play entitled ‘Over the Garden Fence’ as part of the Women of the World (WOW) festival which takes place at Storyhouse between May 20 and 21. WOW is a two day festival of events, workshops, panel discussions, debates, film and performances, to celebrate the theme of ambition and explore the paths to a gender equal world. 
 
Hayley and Louise hope their play will encourage conversation and engage audiences in the discussion of dementia, as well as highlight the importance of the individual behind the illness. Hayley said: “Professionals, mental health care services, careers and families, have seen our plays as a tool to bring people together and discuss prevalent and complex issues. Our work is non-discriminatory; the beauty of theatre is that it can bring people from all walks of life together.” 
 
Louise added: “It is important to say that we do not claim to be professionals in health care. We are not doctors or nurses who are dealing or trained in health care, we only speak from personal experience, and the experiences people have shared with us. It is a break from a lecture or PowerPoint presentation and connects with people on a personal level.” 
 
Haylo Theatre have performed for various organisations, including Age UK; The Christie; Alzheimer’s Society; Dementia Action Alliance and Hospice UK. 
 
Their upcoming performance of ‘Over the Garden Fence' will take place at Storyhouse during the WOW festival on Saturday, May 20 at 7pm.