More than 17,000 teenagers from around 60 schools will watch the 40 minute performance of 'Going to Extremes' over the next seven weeks.
The play has been commissioned by Leicestershire County Council, working with district council partners and the police, and it follows the successful ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ which toured county schools, raising awareness of child sexual exploitation.
The production has a number of aims which include raising awareness of how radicalisation can happen, the different aims of various organisations involved in radicalisation and extremism, and how to challenge radical and extremist narratives and discuss them openly. It also educates on key skills such as internet safety and raises awareness of where to get help about any of the issues it raises.Person:Jane Moore, the county council's assistant director for education and early help
The play, which was developed by the council along with the Northampton-based AlterEgo Theatre Company, contributes to the Government's agenda of safeguarding people and communities against the threat of terrorism.
Bill Knopp, prevent manager at Leicestershire Police, said: “Leicestershire Police congratulates Alter Ego and Leicestershire County Council for this innovative project. There are two persistent myths with the Prevent Strategy, the first is that it’s police led and the second that Prevent stifles debate.
"‘Going to Extremes’ demonstrates local authorities’ key role in the strategy. The play will raise awareness of the risks with young people and promote the discussion of difficult themes in an accessible and original way.”
The production launches at De Lisle College in Loughborough on Monday (March 13). Chris Davies, head teacher at De Lisle, said: 'Going to Extremes' proves itself to be an engaging, yet challenging opportunity for schools and their students. This new production will enable thousands of young people to explore the Prevent Strategy in open, realistic and thought-provoking ways.”
The play is set to be rolled out to even more schools, and will also be performed in community venues across the county. The play consists of three characters’ narratives – two which focus on religious extremism and outline how two young people are enticed to join, or nearly join, radical groups in Syria, and one which explores how a young person got involved in far-right political extremism.