The Merlin Theatre company’s annual tour has returned this spring to tell the gritty tale of a teenage boy’s downward spiral into crime and the consequences for him and those around him.
Pembrokeshire College’s hard-hitting performance The Crime of your Life has almost completed its tour visiting Greenhill School, Ysgol Dewi Sant, Pembroke Comprehensive School, Milford Haven Comprehensive School, Ysgol Bro Gwaun, Tasker Milward Comprehensive School, Castel School and Ysgol y Preseli as part of the multi-agency initiative organised by Dyfed Powys Police.
Aimed at year seven pupils, the play is told through a game show format which follows the exploits of three teenagers as they make decisions that will impact on the rest of their lives. Through flashbacks, the lead character tells the audience how easily seemingly minor offences can spiral into a life of crime resulting in the breakdown of his family and a life spent on the ‘inside’.
Lecturer in Performing Arts at Pembrokeshire College, Simon Haslam, enthused: “The play highlights the implications of committing a crime and how easily minor offences can escalate into more serious crime. By targeting year seven pupils we hope the messages will stay with them throughout their teenage years.”
Following each performance, the year seven pupils attend workshops which focus on the themes of the play. These workshops are hosted by Pembrokeshire Schools and Community Officers who take the pupils through the real-life messages of the play.
The Crime of your Life tour has been seen by over 10,000 secondary school pupils across Pembrokeshire since it was launched in 2001 and was recognised with a High Sheriff’s Award in 2008.
“Being involved in this project gives our Performing Arts students invaluable touring experience and brings a real-world element to their course. They don’t just turn up to perform, they set up the lighting and sound system and have to be show-ready within 15 minutes of arriving at each school so the pressure is on!” said Simon.
The tour is a multi-agency initiative organised by Dyfed Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Haverfordwest Magistrates Court, the Youth Offending Team, Safer Underage Drinking and Drugs Service, G4S Prison Service and Victim Support and is delivered by students at Pembrokeshire College.