Local Theatre Project For Young People

"Kicking": An interactive play and workshop

In a move to address dependent behaviour among young people in the Merton area, the Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust (WCTT) has launched its summer project - KICKING.

Working alongside its primary partner, Catch 22, an organisation experienced in drug and alcohol work with young people, the KICKING project will tour an interactive play and accompanying workshop for groups of year 6 and 7 students from July 1-19.

The KICKING project focuses on helping young people to recognise the 'triggers' of dependent behaviour and offer them an effective tool-box of strategies for dealing with it.

Up to 300 local young people will take part in the project that is scheduled to visit seven junior and two senior schools across Merton. If the pilot project is well received by schools in 2013, the WCTT will then run a full-scale tour of Merton schools in 2014.

Using improvisation, role-play and forum theatre techniques, participants will be taken on a metaphorical "journey of exploration" through the key stages of experimental, recreational and habitual behaviours.

The workshops are highly participatory, involving students as both actors and directors and encouraging them to make choices for the characters and follow the consequences of those decisions.

Mike Rappolt, chairman of WCTT, said: "We are very excited about the launch of KICKING as our main objective is for this project to act as a catalyst for wider school discussions on the issues that influence young people’s personal choices.

"Some may feel that introducing these themes to year 6 and 7 students is too much too young, but we have deliberately targeted this intervention on these students as they are in process of making the transition from primary to secondary school.

"We hope that this will make a real impact on student behaviour around many potentially unhealthy activities, such as gambling, gaming and food addiction, as well as being a creative and enjoyable theatrical experience."

July 8, 2013