AN ambitious stage performance aiming to shed light on the plight of refugee children is appealing for funding as it begins production.

The Playground tells the story of a group of Syrian refugees, played by real refugee children settled in Furness, as they navigate multiple culture barriers to integrate with the community.

Author and composer, Andrew Sproxton, hopes the production will help children embrace a multicultural society.

He said: “I’ve been involved in the local amateur scene for over 30 years and wanted to write something specifically for a younger age group.

“This was the impetus for writing the piece in the first place and everything developed naturally from there.

“Quite by chance, I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to get refugee children involved and seeing how children react to people of different ethnicities.”

Mr Sproxton, who lives on Jesmond Avenue, Barrow, was unaware that there were Syrian refugees currently settled in Furness.

“I wanted to broaden it out to be multicultural and it was entirely coincidental that there were refugees currently living in our area," he said.

“It seemed only right to include them in the role. I felt it was our moral obligation to do so.”

The play will be directed by theatre production company owner, Yvonne Patterson, who is appealing for funding from firms and individuals to get involved in the play.

Ms Patterson, who teaches drama and singing in London and Barrow, hopes the play will relay a message of love and acceptance.

She said: “In my mind, we only have one planet.

“There’s so much pressure and prejudice.

"These children have been through so much and seen some terrible things that we can’t begin to comprehend.

“I wanted to do something to make these children feel welcome.

“It’s important for our children to understand that too, at the end of the day children are just children.

“If we want people to be kind to each other, you have to start with the kids.”

The cast of about 50 children and refugee youngsters will make up Ms Patterson’s Shine Theatre Company.

Anyone who can help with funds is asked to contact Ms Patterson on 07817611548.

Any children or adults who want to take part are asked to attend the first rehearsal at Crossbar, Barrow AFC at 6.30pm on March 11.