A QUEST through a video game world to battle with an eight foot puppet took place in Rochford.

The performance was born from the imaginative minds of the young people who took part in a free drama project Outside In.

It was held in front of a live audience, including Nizle Biju, Southend’s Deputy Youth Mayor and Merril Biju, Mental Health Officer for Southend Youth Council.

Outside In was led by Elevator Arts who joined forces with local mental health and environmental charity Trust Links, and award-winning puppetry and visual theatre company Smoking Apples Theatre.

It was supported by funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England,

It took place at Growing Together, Rocheway, Rochford, over five days with the performance taking place on Thursday August 12.

Young people aged ten to 15 years old were invited to ‘get outside, get creative and express themselves’.

Elevator Arts is an initiative which works with young people affected by poor mental health, intensified by social isolation over successive lockdowns.

Alison Garner from Elevator Arts said: “We’ve been so impressed by the creativity, focus and energy of the young people - some of them were so nervous when they arrived but they overcame their fears to create and perform their own fantastic show.”