Choice of a Lifetime - A Play on Knife CrimePosted on: 25/02/2019
Redbridge Drama Centre
Choice of a Lifetime!
Written by Michael Woodwood following extensive research with young people and consultants.
Choice of a Lifetime was first produced and toured schools in 2010 and then again in 2011, 2015 and 2016. Due to the recent increase in knife crime amongst young people, the Redbridge Drama Centre has been funded by Redbridge Inclusion Panel to update the play and tour the production again to schools in East London. On the last tour it received glowing reviews from teachers and pupils.
The play deals with the reasons why some young people feel it is necessary to carry a knife including: fear of being attacked, peer pressure, being a gang member, or being a knife carrier for someone else. The play also looks at the law regarding possession of a knife and the harm, from even a small cut, that a knife can afflict on the body. Finally the play deals with how the choice to carry a knife can lead to life changing events like prison or death.
One day after school, Mr. Nicolson receives a visit from one of his old pupils, Justin, who has just been released from a Young Offenders Institution. Justin has come back to see his favourite teacher, and in the same classroom where he was taught, Justin recalls how he was first shown a knife in year Nine and how he ends up carrying and eventually using a knife himself. As they look back on his school years, Mr. Nicolson interrogates Justin, questioning the choices he made and the final actions he took which dictated the path of his life.
Choice of a Lifetime uses two male actors who use a small number of hand props and a sound system in the production, which is then performed in a classroom, where the play is set, with pupils sitting at their desks.