Black Roses
The Killing Of Sophie Lancaster

Black Roses is written as an elegy to Sophie with poetry by Simon Armitage OBE, Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, spoken alongside the words of Sophie's mother Sylvia Lancaster OBE. The film (produced by the BBC Education Zone) moves seamlessly from Sylvia’s candid descriptions of Sophie’s life and death, to the haunting poetry and back again.

“Simon Armitage’s poems give back to Sophie the voice she lost when she was brutally murdered in 2007. Her short life is caught in this stunning film” explains Sylvia.

black roses photos

Photo: BBC

The film won 'Best Single Drama of Year' and 'Female Performance of the year' in the Royal Television Society Awards 2015. Julie Hesmondhalgh has been nominated for a TV Bafta award for her portrayal of Sylvia Lancaster. The piece - originally a radio play - provoked an unprecedented response when it premiered on BBC Radio 4 in 2011. The play went on to win the BBC Audio and Music Award for Best Speech Production of the Year.

It transferred from radio to theatre, premiering at the prestigious Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester where again it won acclaim and awards. The play toured community centres in deprived areas of the North West, reaching young people before showing in the South Bank Theatre for a week in March 2014.

To coincide with this we held a 'Black Roses Listening Event' hosted by Kerry McCarthy MP in the House of Commons. This unique event was opened by the then Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and attended by senior officials in the police, justice, education, third sector and health alongside our supporters, including Adam Ant.

The Foundation’s Patron, Julie Hesmondhalgh said,“Black Roses is one of the pieces of work I'm most proud of in my career. I feel so privileged to have met and worked with Sylvia, so to speak her words in this beautiful telling of Sophie's story, is the greatest of honours. I hope the film helps to continue to make this heartbreaking story known, and furthers the fantastic and important work of the Foundation set up in her memory."

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation is now established as a leading provider of anti-bullying and hate crime education and training. Black Roses is a powerful tool that the foundation have used to deliver successful training to professionals and students. It is particularly impactful for Hate Crime, Victim Impact, Inclusion and Equality and Diversity but covers many aspects of the curriculum including Citizenship, Drama and English.

Over the coming months we will be developing further educational resources to compliment the film.

Please note: The film does not have subtitles.

Please note: The film is copyrighted and carries a 12 Certificate but is most suitable for ages14 plus

Newspaper Reviews

'A searingly beautiful elegy to a real life horribly cut short and a gut-wrenching illustration of the horrors of mindless violence'
Daily Telegraph

'A simple, moving production'
Daily Guardian

'Audiences are unlikely to see anything so powerful or moving this year'
What's on stage

You can contact us using the details below:

Office Number: 01706 216969


87 Deardengate

General Enquiries : Click here

Educational enquiries: Click here

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