Bad Lad

A 45 minute play, workshop with resource pack on how and why children and teenagers can become involved in or be affected by the violent behaviour of peers and adults around them. Aimed at years 5 – 8, devised Summer 2007.

It’s hard not to be ‘bad’ when everyone and everything seems to tell you – you are! Especially when you believe that the things that you do are not your responsibility.

‘Bad Lad’ examines the relationship between Adam, a friendless eleven year old already excluded from mainstream schooling for violent behaviour and Natalie, a sixteen year old homeless girl whom he tries to help. ‘Respect’ is an important concept to both of them – but what does it actually mean when those you hurt the most, are those who care the most about you?

The play attempts to look beyond the tabloid stereotypes of delinquent youth at how and why children and teenagers can be drawn into violence and anti social behaviour both in and out of school; it also examines the blurred line between victim and victimiser and challenges the current trend to demonise and fear the young.

Matthew Grainger as Adam

Audience Comments

Teacher Responses

‘Excellent. Professional performance with many thought provoking issues. Pupils participated fully in the follow up workshop and gained a great deal from the whole experience.’
Queen Elizabeth School, Mansfield

‘The play and workshop in particular, raised so many issues that are relevant to our pupils. Not only have the children had to think about crime and anti social behaviour, but issues associated with relationships too. Thank you. Another valuable performance. The actors were fantastic.’
Birklands Junior School, Mansfield

‘Another brilliant performance and workshop. Thank you.’
Garibaldi College, Mansfield

‘This kind of performance is so important for our ‘city’ kids. They really need to see things like this that relate to their everyday lives.’
Ambleside Primary, Nottingham


Student Responses

‘It made me feel like I know how people feel when they are homeless.’
Northfield Primary, Mansfield

‘It really made me think ‘that’s not going to be me when I’m older.’
Birklands Junior School, Mansfield

‘Thanks for that brilliant play. I like the bits where Natalie gets bossy but I do get the message – how you were trying to tell us not to be disrespectful to other people.’
Oaktree Primary, Mansfield

‘It was great and amazing!’
Ladybrook Primary, Mansfield

Special thanks go to Damien, Daniel and Cyrone from CAPS who helped with the sound and all staff and students at Ambleside Junior, Nottingham who assisted with our research for the project.

Angela Tervit as Natalie, Matthew Grainger as Adam