AN aspiring director from Hardenhuish School hopes to change people’s perception of mental health with her new and hard-hitting play entitled These Children.

Fifteen-year-old Ella Taylor wrote the play at the start of the year after being inspired by a mental health awareness assembly but the story, which focuses on pupil Sienna who battles with her mental health at her new school, was changed drastically over the summer holidays.

“Mental health is usually romanticised and I wanted to get away from that and challenge the way that it is presented,” the Year 11 pupil said.

“We have been rehearsing twice a day since the beginning of term so it will be strange when it’s all over. The cast are doing really well though and they’re nearly all off script.

“It has been amazing to have the opportunity to do something like this because in drama lessons I always want to try and provide a direction but it can be quite difficult, but this is my play.

“It is so nice to work with such a talented group of actors who all have their ideas too.”

All proceeds from the play, which will be performed on Monday and Tuesday, will go towards the Young Minds charity, which is committed to improving children’s well-being and mental health. I’m hoping people will go and do a bit of research on the charity and think about how mental health is usually portrayed - especially in shows like 13 Reasons Why,” the 15-year-old added.

Drama teacher Duncan Ellis said: “It is always a brilliant event when students do something off their own back and with their own skills and it is nice to see students build on what they have learnt in class too.

“Ella has always known what she has wanted to do and she is so precise and understands the mechanics of directing. It is very exciting to see.”

Tickets, which cost £3, can be purchased from the events office on 01249 650693.