Safety Play Hits the Road
has gone upon a new play aimed at cutting the number of accidents
involving teenage pedestrians. The play, which is touring
secondary schools in the city, is a collaboration by the Council’s
Road Safety Team and the Valley Theatre. It starts with the
audience being asked to "Imagine a teenage boy and a teenage girl
drunkenly making their way down a busy road to a friend’s party.
They begin to play fight and push each other about and finally she
pushes him into the road….."
The play, funded by a £13,000 grant for the Neighbourhood Renewal
Fund was written and produced by a forum of young actors and writers
all aged between 12 and 18 years old. It is based on information
that the Road Safety Team provided about the increasing number of
pedestrians, aged between 12 and 15 years old, involved in road
This is the 2nd time the Road Safety Team and the Valley Theatre
have worked together. The previous multi-media production
highlighted the dangerous trend of young girls getting into cars as
passengers when the male driver have been drinking and taking drugs,
as well as the dangers of drink and drug driving.
Cllr Mike Storey, Executive Member for Regeneration, said:-
”Using Theatre in Education allows the Road Safety Team to reach a
large audience and an audience that can be tough to get through to.
The students can relate to the characters, maybe even seeing
themselves behaving like the characters. Hopefully this will
influence their behaviour on the roads for the better.”
Students also have the chance to ask the actors questions about the
production and the road safety issues it raises and there are
workshop packs that the teachers can complete with the students.
Children urged to ‘play’ nicely
Liverpool are taking to the stage to encourage other children to
think about the potential consequences of anti-social behaviour.
The teenagers have written the drama themselves with assistance from
Merseyside Police and council officers in Neighbourhood Services. It
will be performed in front of almost 200 primary school pupils from
across the area.
Councillor Colin Eldridge, executive member for community safety,
said:- “When children are in a group together during the
summer holidays, it is very easy for what can look like a relatively
harmless act to spiral out of control. This play uses drama to
send out an extremely powerful message to young people about the
potential consequences of anti-social behaviour. The students
can use acting to bring situations to life in a very realistic way,
and other children are much more likely to take it seriously because
the message is coming from their peers.”
The scenarios featured in the performance include a look at what can
happen if you smoke and drink in a park, and how an anti-social
behaviour order can affect a person’s freedom. The project has
been funded by partners of Citysafe - Liverpool’s Crime and Disorder
Reduction Partnership: Liverpool city council, Merseyside Police,
Merseytravel and Lee Valley Housing.
Inspector Steve Melia from Merseyside Police said:- “The
programme is about giving consistent messages on anti social
behaviour and citizenship as well as informing young people about
the different agencies operating in their area. The 3 themes
of the project were; Rights versus Responsibilities; Alcohol, Drugs
and Anti Social Behaviour and ‘What if it was you’ - a look
into victims of crime and the impact on their lives. I would
like to thank the school as well as all the children and partners
involved in putting this excellent production together.”
The play is one of a series of Citizenship initiatives designed to
raise children’s awareness of personal safety, and encourage them to
understand how their behaviour can impact on those around them.
The performance has been timed to coincide with the school summer
holidays, which begin later this month.