Powerful drama tackling alcohol and cannabis misuse among Redbridge young

The dangers of substance misuse are brought to life in a hard-hitting theatrical performance touring the borough’s schools.

Redbridge Drama Centre is running the Waste of Time project, commissioned by Redbridge Council, which looks at the effects of alcohol and cannabis misuse.

The production is being shown to Year 9 classes and performances began on Monday at Beal High School, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge.

The play shows a series of scenes from the lives of three young people who fail to achieve anything by the time they come to leave school at 18.

It focuses on the change in behaviour of the three characters, the difficulties they experience with their school work, their relationships and their health.

Writer and director Michael Woodwood said: “Instead of the normal teacher-pupil relationship, the play is put into a context young people understand and develops through their eyes.

“The play takes place in the classroom in front of a small audience, making it more powerful with the story unfolding around the students.”

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The play explores a number of issues, including binge drinking, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections while under the influence of alcohol, the dangers of alcohol poisoning, peer-group pressure and the law concerning the possession of cannabis.

The themes are discussed in more detail among the students after the performances, giving them time to reflect on what they have seen.

Redbridge has its own confidential substance misuse service for young people, called Fusion NELFT, which works to prevent young people becoming problem drug users.

•To find out more about Fusion call 020 8708 7801 or email fusion@redbridge.gov.uk