Mum's story of son's drug addiction battle is powerful warningBy Laura Herbert
May 18, 2012
A mother's best-selling book detailing her son’s battle with drug addiction has been turned into a powerful play.
Five years ago Elizabeth Burton-Phillips published ‘Mum, Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid? – What Drugs Did to My Family’ revealing the devastation drug addiction had on her family.
She also set up the charity DrugFAM, helping families dealing with a loved one’s addiction as well as working in schools and prisons to highlight the impact of drugs.
Now, playwright Mike Howl has turned the book into a play that was performed as one of five pilot performances for students at Wellington College, in Dukes Ride, Crowthorne, on Thursday, May 3, and Friday, May 4.
Student Emma Sibbald said: “Although very scary in parts, the play was informative and definitely a warning off any illegal substances as we slowly watched the boys sink lower and lower.”
Mrs Burton-Phillips, from Twyford, decided to write the book after her son Nicholas, 27, died at the Crisis House in Wokingham in February 2004.
She said: “It was 14 months ago that Michael contacted me to say he read my book and he worked supporting families in Liverpool.
“We met and talked about the possibility of turning the book into a play and he has achieved the most powerful presentation.”
Pilot performances took place in St Helens, Wellington College and HMP Peterborough.
Mrs Burton-Phillips continued: “We wanted a cross-section of people in the audience and we want to get it out to schools and offenders whose lifestyle has brought them into prison.
“The director of the prison said it should be seen in all prisons and many headteachers said it should be seen in all schools. It is important we get the message across to this cross-section.”
Mrs Burton-Phillips added: “I feel very honoured because I have the skills to write a book but not a play.
“But, it is not my story as it could be anybody’s story.
“There are hundreds and thousands of people up and down the country and overseas who say ‘this is what is happening in our family’.”
Home Secretary and Twyford MP Theresa May has championed Mrs Burton-Phillips’ work
In a testimonial she said: “This is a story, a play and a musical that needs to be told and needs to be seen and heard. Thank you Elizabeth for having the courage to channel the pain you felt for the good of others.”
For more information visit www.drugfam.co.uk