Prevent for Schools

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22nd March 23
Trail : home / P4S: Secondary Schools / One extreme to the other


A nationally acclaimed and award winning drama that challenges religious, political and racial extremism. A theatre led resource based on research with young people and professionals with web based support and educational materials targeted at young people aged 14-25 in schools, colleges, universities and in a variety of other settings.

This resource is also appropriate for adults in a range of community settings and for training professionals.

The project centres around the play One “Extreme to the Other” which provides a powerful theatrical stimulus for debate and learning on the complex issue of extremism.



The Resource

This is a powerful and award winning resource which tackles religious, political and racial extremism, led by a professional theatre production which provides a challenging and gripping catalyst to engage with young people and community audiences. Part of the narrative in the play explores the vulnerability of young people to violent extremism in the name of Islam and from the far right, but this is set into a broader context in a story that explores ignorance, identity, blind prejudice, class and racism. This is vital in order to avoid demonising and stereotyping any sections of the community.

The issues in the play are taken from an extensive period of research in different communities and as such the play is based in truth. In addition to this, through all stages of its development, the project was guided, supported and approved by an advisory group made up of highly skilled professionals, faith representatives, young people and parents. The play is a starting point from which to move forward.

We look at the problems head on but leave room for hope and change through the thought and debate we seek to provoke and inspire in young people and through the excellent educational resources we provide for professionals working in schools and other settings – meeting, pushing, stretching and exceeding many of the key criteria at the core of the Prevent Strategy and the DCFS Toolkit „Learning to be Safe Together‟.

Since 2007 the play has been performed over 200 times nationally to a total audience of over 30,000 people, including a performance at Parliament in March 2009. We anticipate delivering a further 200 performances through 2009-2011, some of which will be directly supported by Prevent monies through the Capacity Building Programme.

The project is now widely considered to be a leading piece of excellent national practice and its great strength is that it is designed to work in all communities and with people from all faiths and ethnic origins.



The Theatre Production

Ali’s got mixed up with an Islamic extremist. His former friend Tony is flirting with the far racist right and unemployment is rising. There’s been another terrorist attack in London and a far right organisation is organising a march through Ali’s neighbourhood. Will Tony march? Will Ali fight? Can his sister Sarah make him find another way? Will journalist Jessica use past relationships to get a scoop on the threatened riots, or will she put principles before her career to stop the clash and avert disaster?

Performances are followed immediately by a session of „hot-seating‟ where the audience is invited to ask questions of some of the play‟s key characters, and also to offer them some advice. This leads to some thoughtful interplay between young people and actors and some very perceptive and insightful probing of issues and questions raised in the play. There is also an opportunity to question the actors themselves about the play and its issues.

All of the above fits into a 75 minute session.



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