A play written to show young people the stark reality of becoming involved with gangs and guns is set to be performed for the general public at Royal Court Liverpool next week (Thursday November 6).
Merseyside Police commissioned Maurice Bessman’s Terriers in 2008 as part of Liverpool’s highly successful Capital of Culture year. To date the play, delivered in partnership with the Royal Court Liverpool Trust, Merseyside Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, has been seen by more than 50,000 school children in Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton and has been studied as part of the national curriculum.
This September will see the launch of a brand new Education Toolkit for use in classrooms which has been developed by Liverpool-based creative agency as creatives with funding from Big Lottery. It will enable teachers to examine the play in detail with students and will give them the tools to explore difficult issues associated with gun and gang crime.
Jane Kennedy, Police Commissioner for Merseyside said, “It is fantastic to see Merseyside Police and their partners engaging with young people about the problem of gun and gang crime in such an innovative way. It is vital that all partners work together to provide a coordinated approach to this issue and ensure we are keeping our communities safe, particularly in the face of ongoing financial pressures. This type of theatre is a key resource.”
Chief executive for the Royal Court Trust, Gillian Miller said: “Terriers has become a major part of the Trust’s education and outreach programme. Our partnership with Merseyside police continues to develop as more and more young people in Merseyside get the chance to see the play. It is great that the play is now attracting interest from all over the UK. It is a tribute to the commitment of Merseyside Police and the quality of the play that other cities across the UK are also keen to show Terriers to young people in their areas.
Detective Superintendent Richie Carr of Merseyside Police said “Terriers has had a major impact across Merseyside in terms of raising awareness of the consequences of being associated with the gun and gang culture and I am sure it has significantly contributed to the reductions we have seen in gun crime across the Merseyside area. We are committed to developing the project further over the next three years and will continue to work in schools throughout Merseyside and beyond, enabling as many young people, families and youth agencies to see Terriers as possible.”
In spring next year the play will tour for five weeks to schools in Merseyside and will travel to Croydon for one week before embarking on a national tour (booking now).
Tickets for the Terriers performance at Royal Court Liverpool are available at a subsidised rate of £3 for young people and £5 for adults from the Royal Court box office on 0870 787 1866 or via the theatre website at royalcourtliverpool.com.