Riots come under the spotlight in student play


The issue of hate crime is going to be explored in a theatre production that will be touring schools in Birmingham.

Funded by West Midlands Police and produced by students at Birmingham School of Acting, part of Birmingham City University, Hatin’ On is going to be performed at schools in Handsworth, Kingstanding and Perry Barr. The performance has been designed to examine issues such as group/gang mentality, identity, peer pressure, the role of the media and will also look at the extremes in society from the summer riots to X Factor.

Hatin On is a fusion of drama, dance, song, physical theatre, poetry and film which will be performed by students on Birmingham School of Acting’s Community and Applied Theatre course. It has been written following research carried out in schools and with young people in the Perry Barr area. The aim of the project is to raise awareness of and engage with issues around hate crime and encourage discussions amongst the school pupils. It is hoped that the production will help the police build stronger relationships with young people in Birmingham, and encourage teenagers to speak to the police.

Sgt Jill Hughes said: “We are very pleased to be involved with Birmingham School of Acting. The production will address many issues that affect young people in the local area.”

The schools which will stage the production are: St John Wall School, Cardinal Wiseman School, Holyhead School, Perry Beeches School, Great Barr School and Hamstead Hall School. There will also be an extra performance at the Patricia Yardley studio at Birmingham School of Acting’s campus at Millennium Point.

August Riots

Before going on tour the production will be previewed at Birmingham City University’s Student Union on Thursday 24 November. The production was the idea of Hannah Phillips, who is the course director of the BA Hons Community & Applied Theatre said: “Hatin' On explores issues of hate crime. It looks at the August riots and asks young people to take responsibility for their actions and to consider consequences, but it also asks the media, parents, education and the government to do the same.

“In a time where some young people find they have nothing to do because of cuts to services, the Youtube generation are offered the X Factor as an opportunity for a better life, and instant gratification of fame and fortune.”

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