‘LUVU2’ consists of a 50 minute play followed by an hour long interactive forum theatre workshop which explores why children and teenagers should, and how they might, make positive interventions to protect themselves and their peers/friends from the risk of internet and real life child sexual exploitation; its aim is to encourage the development of coping and avoidance strategies in relation to real and perceived risk, as well highlighting pathways to advice and support.
14 year old reluctant GCSE drama student Callum is confused and angry – why has his class mate, Lucy changed the topic for their self- initiated ‘theatre in education’ project from ‘healthy eating’ to ‘CSE’ (whatever that is!) and where is the absent Abigail, Lucy’s best friend, their fellow drama student and project partner? Why is Lucy forcing him to change their play’s original subject matter and devise a story about a girl affected by internet grooming? Especially when Callum is convinced that the issue only affects a tiny minority of girls in care, for whom abusive behaviour is a ‘lifestyle choice’?
Forced by his class mate Lucy to devise a narrative about internet and real life grooming (issues which Callum considers at best irrelevant to modern teenage life and at worst, a source of sick humour) the audience gradually becomes aware that Lucy has more than just challenging Callum’s prejudices or her GCSE drama grade on her mind – and where is the absent Abigail anyway?
Following the ‘devising’ journey of Callum and Lucy, the former gradually begins to realise that the story the latter is telling, is far from fictional and much closer to home than he would have ever imagined.
The project is intended to encourage students to understand what ‘grooming’ and ‘child sexual exploitation’ is and to think about the importance of early interventions in both the real and virtual world to prevent it from happening; it will also encourage them to think how they might responsibly and effectively deal with the consequences of grooming and/or abuse once it has occurred.
Please note that additional audio/visual classroom resources are provided with this play and workshop which allow students to become more aware of these issues and the coping and avoidance strategies which might be employed, in relation to CSE risk awareness and avoidance.
Ciaran Lindley as Callum and Annabel Pidduck as Lucy – ‘LUVU2’ tour 2013
Responses from professionals working in child protection and safeguarding
‘I was extremely impressed with the whole performance… this production is a credit to the theatre company itself and to the working group responsible for its development.’
Martin Hillier, Detective Inspector, Public Protection, Nottinghamshire Police
‘Your piece today was amazing, credit to you and your colleagues for tackling such a difficult topic! Thanks again for great theatre! You deserve huge respect!!’
Antje Ischebeck, CASH
‘I thought it was absolutely fab, and believe, with the young people interacting in the workshops they will really gain from it. Overall its a great piece and the actors were excellent. Well done Pintsize.’
Sam Hammond, C Card Technical Specialist, Rushcliffe Locality Tea
‘I went to the dress rehearsal yesterday and was really impressed by the performance and the workshop. The production is quite fast in pace and covers loads of the important issues around this really sensitive issue and the actors were really fully briefed to pick up on the issues in the workshop through sensitive questioning and prompting by Ian but also when challenged by audience members.Well done and thanks to all at Pintsize.’
Lorna Naylor – Anti-bullying Coordinator,Children Families and Cultural Services
‘I have already had some feedback from a few students informally. The play really took them on a rollercoaster of emotions. They were on the edge of their seats. They found it very powerful. I can’t praise Pintsize enough.’
Nawal Duddles, Head of PHSCE, Brunts School, Mansfield
‘I am writing as chair of the Child Sexual Exploitation sub group of the CSE Cross Authority Group to thank you for your insight, hard work, commitment and passion in developing and performing LUVU2. The feedback in relation to the content of the performance and workshops, the potential impact on young people’s lives and the acting has been tremendous and is to your credit. All of the group would like to wish you well on your future ventures. Thank you so much.’
Judith Green, Outreach/Health Promotion Lead , NUH Sexual Health Services, Victoria Health Centre
Special thanks go to the numerous local and national agencies overseen by the Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Child Sexual Exploitation Sub Group of the CSE Cross Authority Group which funded, supported and guided this project.
THIS PROJECT IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF RACHEL MAIR, A WONDERFUL FRIEND, AN INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER AND A MUCH MISSED TRUSTEE OF PINTSIZE THEATRE.