Students are often told the basic instruction to stay away from drugs and illegal activity in general. However, there is rarely an in-depth discussion to accompany these issues. As a result, teenagers are often left slightly confused as to what exactly they need to stay clear of. What if we end up involved in an illegal situation without potentially understanding the severity of our actions or, in fact, the consequences? How do we know who to stay away from when in public, when anyone could be involved in certain types of crime? How can we prevent ourselves from becoming drawn into a dangerous scenario through the ploys used by those involved?

It was these questions that had been addressed last Thursday to Year 10, as we were given an educational performance on county lines, that being an occurring issue in areas surrounding the nearby community for young people at the moment. I personally was astonished at the statistics shown to us which revealed the overwhelming amount of children involved in county lines.

And so, with a minimalist background, three actors portrayed the story of two teenagers, both 15, who had been lured into danger by an older man one day in the park. The boy, nicknamed ‘Random’, had been struggling to buy a dress for his girlfriend. After overhearing their conversation, an older man named Dex ‘kindly’ gave the teenage boy some money for his girlfriend. As a result, a relationship had begun which would further lead to chaos. Random had taken a new job offered by Dex, which involved transporting illegal items across the area. Whilst this may have appeared as an easy job to avoid, Dex had seemed convincing, while also promising a high salary for Random, who was easily influenced by the money.

At first, the lifestyle persuaded Random and his girlfriend to continue, enjoying the perks of drinking and having money to spend. But the lifestyle would rapidly lose its appeal, after Dex plotted a scheme to confront the two teenagers, ultimately leaving them in an inescapable situation in which they were forced to continue. The teenagers were violently attacked by Dex, and were left terrified. Despite its extreme ending, the play appeared consistently realistic, after going into detail on the exact steps which lead to such danger.

Year 10 student, Archie Craker, commented, ‘I thought it was an original and informative interpretation of an issue I didn’t know much about till now.’ This resonated with the rest of the year, as they left with a new sense of awareness. The play finished with an inclusive and enlightening discussion which could allow us to ask questions and further enrich our knowledge. A huge thank you must go to the drama company and all staff involved for making this event possible.