Drugs taken to the death stage
PUBLISHED: 13:01 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 11:28 04 May 2010
WITCHFORD teenager Jenny Broadley left parents in tears with her hard-hitting play about drugs. The 15-year-old wrote the work to highlight the facts that four young men known to her and her friends had died from heroin and cocaine abuse in the last year
WITCHFORD teenager Jenny Broadley left parents in tears with her hard-hitting play about drugs.
The 15-year-old wrote the work to highlight the facts that four young men known to her and her friends had died from heroin and cocaine abuse in the last year.
Her play, written around a burial scene, reduced her audiences to tears and left many parents worried about their own lack of communication with their children.
Performed by 22 teenagers from Sutton Youth Group, the play emphasised the fact that a young girl's life could have been saved if friends, parents or others around her had stepped in.
Now the work, called Project 12-05, has been entered for a national competition, which is offering a £1,000 prize.
"It taught the adults a lesson because they didn't think this was happening to their young people," said Witchford Village College pupil, Jenny.
"It also worked with young people because I used to hang around with these people and a lot of them have stopped sitting around streets smoking cannabis."
Jenny wanted to reveal to parents and local dignitaries how easy it is for young people to get drugs and to shock her peers to stop them taking drugs.
The young performers, aged between 13 and 19, were headed up by two 18-year-old part-time youth workers.
One of them, Vicki Bailey, who knew all four young men who had died, said: "It was not a shock that they were on drugs but it was a shock that they had died from them."
After the deaths, the young people approached Vicki and said they wanted to perform a drama to make people aware of the situation.
Witchford youth office head, Mick Oliver, said: "I was very nervous of the content of the production as it was very near the knuckle. While it included songs and dances written and choreographed by the young people, it also had a drug death acted out on stage. Some of the parents were in tears."
The young cast performed the play to more than 400 people.
Cambridgeshire County Council's head of youth services, Steve White, who presented the youngsters with a certificate, said: "Overall the play was very moving. It started and ended with a burial scene and it was very hard-hitting.
"It shows the futility of the girl's death and the fact that it could have been stopped.