CcuAhX4WoAA7f-q.jpg-large‘Salford schools stand up to organised crime

School children from Salford have taken a stand against organised crime and gangs in their community, demonstrating their commitment to a safer Salford with a special theatre challenge this week.

10 schools from across the city have spent the last two months creating a play to ‘Stand up for Salford’ after taking part in workshops with Greater Manchester Police, Crimestoppers and Rhema Theatre around organised crime and gangs.

The ‘Stand up for Salford’ programme aims to teach school pupils about organised crime, its dangers and the impact that it has on communities. It also promotes Fearless, Crimestoppers’ dedicated youth service, designed and developed to encourage and empower young people to make their community a safer place. So far twelve schools from across the area have taken part in workshops exploring issues such as gun violence and drug crime to help police spread the message to the younger residents of the city.’


Review of ‘The It’s Not Fair!’ at Buxton fringe Festival

pasted image 33“The ‘It’s Not Fair’ is a stark and unsettling examination of one of the greatest humanitarian issues of our time, as performed by Michael and Rebecca Peacock. The pair use music, clowning and puppetry to tell four very different stories of human trafficking. They go from old-fashioned Punch and Judy-esque joking (“Before tonight, I hadn’t spoken to my wife in years – I couldn’t get a word in edgeways”) to suddenly embodying the roles of slaves and the criminals who trick, imprison, sell and use them for menial labour and the sex industry.

There is a real intimacy in the performance, and this is not lost even in the spacious Buxton Methodist Church. The frequent costume changes and technical requirements of the performance were clearly demanding, but the pair never let the intensity drop, and there is always something interesting to look at and think about onstage. The puppetry of a boy in an Indian labour camp was brilliant and sensitive, and the use of screens to gradually hem characters in was subtle and clever.

They carry an important message about the often neglected realities of slavery today

It was hugely informative; I was particularly surprised both by the forced labour camps in India, which are essentially modern concentration camps, and the existence of slavery in England, especially London. The ages of many girls forced to work in brothels in places like the Philippines is also thoroughly disturbing. Despite the obviously grim subject matter, there is ultimately an uplifting message as the duo explain what is being done to combat the issue internationally and how to make a difference yourself. It certainly had the right effect on me, as I left feeling moved and inspired to explore the matter further.”

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