Youngsters learn danger signs with council-funded play

Actors explored themes of power and control in the performance of Chelsea's Choice at Belper School.
Actors explored themes of power and control in the performance of Chelsea's Choice at Belper School.

Young people in Belper have been taught a valuable lesson with the performance of a powerful educational play, funded by the town council.

Belper School staged the national touring production of Chelsea’s Choice last month for an audience of three year groups.

The play has been praised by police, education leaders and child protection agencies for the way it highlights the processes and the dangers of child sexual exploitation.

Headteacher Martyn Cooper said: “The play was outstanding in highlighting the dangers of the issues and in signposting appropriate responses.

“It compliments the work undertaken by tutors in PSE lessons to support students in being, and staying, safe.”

The play’s story line follows the grooming of schoolgirl Chelsea by a male predator who gradually ensnares her and ultimately takes control of her life.

The students were urged to be mindful of such abuse and use their skills and knowledge to help prevent this happening to themselves and others.

The school’s former drama teacher Joan Hardy said: “It was a challenging and innovative production which highlighted the devastating impact of such control, and a powerful method of raising awareness about sexual exploitation.”

The performance was funded by a grant from Belper Town Council, and Mayor Gary Spendlove was in attendance to see the outcome.

He said: “I was amazed by the hard-hitting message of the performance. Well done to the actors, the students for engaging with it and the school for arranging it.

“I am delighted that the council were able to fund such an important piece of work and that a number of councillors could be here to see it.”

Following the performance, students were given the opportunity to discuss what they had watched and their reactions, and ask questions of the cast members from AlterEgo Creative Solutions.

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