Gay equality organisation Stonewall has teamed up with a well-known writer/director to raise awareness of the problem of homophobic bulling in schools.

Fit, a new play aimed at tackling the problem and raising awareness amongst young people, is set to begin a tour of schools and theatres across the country.

Co-produced by Stonewall and queerupnorth international festival,Fit is written and directed by acclaimed writer/director Rikki Beadle-Blair, whose credits include Bashment at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stonewall for BBC Films and Metrosexuality for Channel 4.

Earlier this year research published by Stonewall found that almost two thirds (65%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils had experienced homophobic bullying in schools.

The survey, entitled The School Report, also found that 97% of young gay people had heard insulting homophobic language used in schools and half did not feel comfortable to be open about their sexual orientation.

30% of pupils reported that it was the adults in their schools who were carrying out the bullying.

Fit has been created with pupils aged between 11-14 years (Key Stage 3) in mind and is designed to meet National Curriculum Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship requirements.

Chris Gibbons, Stonewall’s senior education officer, said:

Fit is a fun and energetic play which provides an intelligent and thought-provoking exploration of the homophobic bullying that causes misery for thousands of children in schools across Britain.

“We hope that Fit will give teachers the tools to address this serious issue with their pupils and would encourage them to book a performance for their school.”

Set against the background of a college trip to a dance contest, Fit aims to engage and entertain young people and adults alike with its use of snappy dialogue, comedy, energetic hip-hop dance and original music.

Fit has been supported by JP Morgan, Arts Council England and John Lyon’s Charity.

The show will be performed in selected schools, theatres and gay arts festivals across Manchester, London, Bournemouth, Glasgow and Liverpool from September until December.

Schools who would like to host a performance of Fit can do so by contacting Jonathan Best or Adam Pushkin on 0161 234 2942 or by emailing jonathan@queerupnorth.com