Pact - the second play in the Blade Trilogy

Pact by Clifford Oliver

Pact by Clifford Oliver, commissioned by British Transport Police

You don’t snitch - we all know the rules and we all know the consequences.

But what if your own future is at stake? What if there’s a chance that an innocent person will go to jail? What if that person is your best friend?

Ethan faces an almost impossible personal dilemma that will test him like never before...

Originally directed by Carole Pluckrose, Pact is Clifford Oliver’s powerful interactive performance sparked by the many discussions that followed performances of Arc’s acclaimed production of Boy X - the story of the aftermath of the stabbing of a 16 year-old. Violent crime and gangs continue as central themes in this piece, which enters the challenging and taboo area of ‘snitching’ and the walls of silence that can prevent identification and conviction of offenders.

Commissioned by British Transport Police and working with the BTP Young People's Advisory Group and Millwall Kickz project, Clifford developed Pact following fascinating, heated and complex conversations with young people about loyalty, trust and the human instinct to ‘close ranks’. Performances of Pact offer an opportunity to explore these difficult issues in a safe space.


“Young people are our future and there is nothing more important for BTP and the Police Service than getting them on our side. Our work with Arc can help us engage with them both intellectually and emotionally, explain where we are coming from and through interactive drama understand better their point of view. That is a powerful and potentially life-saving combination.”
Superintendent Adrian Young, British Transport Police

Read BTP's 2011 review of Pact as a Team Highlight in the Police Review publication (pdf, 852k)


Pact began touring schools and venues around London and the south-east from November 2010, including a special performance at Millwall Football Club. The play and follow-up discussion programme has since completed a National Tour visiting schools in West Yorkshire, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and Peterborough, before returning to London for schools and colleges in the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, funded by Kingston Racial Equalities Council.

Pact does not make any attempt to answer the questions that result from violent crime, but rather invites its young audiences into an experience, which presents a set of complex decisions. The play and follow-up discussions (up to 90 minutes in total) are ideally suited for Years 8 to 10 (audience numbers limited to 120 per performance).

To find out how to book in your area or for more information about The Blade Trilogy, email Nita Bocking or call 020 8595 8509.

Pact rehearsals Pact rehearsals Pact rehearsals

Pact in rehearsals with actors Lennie Blasse, Lateisha Lovelace Hanson, Jordan Barrett and Tommy Nash.

Images by Kat Young

Pact resources

See the Pact video. Commissioned by BTP, this mini-documentary takes a look at the play and its development, including performance and Q&A footage and special interviews.

Download Pact Briefing Document (pdf, 339k)

Download Pact flyer (pdf, 596k)

Evaluation of the Pact Programme (pdf, 799k), commissioned by Barking & Dagenham Police following a tour of the Borough's secondary schools

Download Pact Press Release 26.11.10 (pdf, 189k)

Also, read the BTP Press Release: British Transport Police hope drama will break gang culture

For press enquiries, contact Theresa Snooks

British Transport Police


Pact Gala performance at The Malthouse for British Transport Police

A special Gala performance for invited guests was held at Arc's home at The Malthouse on Tuesday 30 November 2010. The performance was followed by an open discussion with Panel Members including Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pacey of the British Transport Police and Chief Superintendent Matt Bell, Borough Commander of Barking & Dagenham Police.

Pact in discussion with Panel

Post-performance discussion including (centre from left to right) actor Lennie Blasse, writer Clifford Oliver, Nick Hancock of TKAP, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pacey and Inspector Tom Naughton of British Transport Police.

Images by Theresa Snooks

Pact audience in discussion

Pact audience in discussion

Pact audience in discussion

Pact audience in discussion

Pact Panel Members

Writer Clifford Oliver with Nick Hancock and Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pacey

Audience feedback fom the evening:

"I was at the show last week and enjoyed the performance and the following discussion very much.  I have written a short review which we will put in our community safety newsletter, UPDATE, which goes to hundreds of people across the rail industry who may be interested in using Pact. A national tour of the production to schools would be a great achievement."
Alan Davies, Community Safety National Programmes, Rail Safety and Standards Board Ltd

"It was certainly an enjoyable evening both from the play aspect as well as the following discussion. Lots of food for thought."  
Bennett Obong, Equalities and Engagement, Hate Crime and Stop & Search Policy Officer, Metropolitan Police Authority

"I thoroughly enjoyed the play and felt it really covered all aspects of teaching youngsters to make the 'right' decision, and especially in breaking down the barriers where the Police are involved."
Cindy Macdonald, PA to Assistant Chief Constable Sue Fish, TKAP, Home Office Violent Crime Unit

"I enjoyed it and found it really absorbing.  I particularly liked that the play doesn't give you any easy answers and the open-ending makes it more conducive to discussion and debate - brilliant!"
Helen Streeter, Khulisa

"I thought the play was very thought-provoking and well written and superbly acted - and the question and answer session raised some very valid points."
DCI Hugh Borgeat, Tasking & Coordinating London North, British Transport Police, London North Area AHQ

"I would just like to pass on my congratulations to everyone involved in last night's production. It is clearly an excellent way to deliver a message."
John Wright, Patient & Public Involvement Department, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust


Pact tour of Barking & Dagenham Schools, sponsored by the local Metropolitan Police Authority

Following the BTP winter 2010 tour, Barking & Dagenham schools were given the opportunity for a free performance and workshop of Pact by Clifford Oliver, sponsored by the local Metropolitan Police Authority, in partnership with the MPS and B&D Partnership.

"Investigations into very serious offences are often hampered when officers come up against a 'wall of silence'. It is important that we understand why young people are reluctant to pass on information to teachers, parents and police officers and what drives these often apparently false loyalties. Research with young people has shown that this issue is not restricted to one particular social, economic or cultural group, but is common to young people from all backgrounds, however well or poorly off they are. Pact will enable us to explore these issues and gain a better understanding of how we can work smarter when these situations arise.

"I hope it may also prompt a change in thinking in some young people and cause them to challenge established thinking and behaviour."
Chief Superintendent Matt Bell, Borough Commander Barking & Dagenham Police

"Both performances were clearly enjoyed by our year 10 students.  Our staff feel that [the Pact programme] really made many of them think seriously about their attitude and behaviour towards the Police."
Teacher, Sydney Russell School, Dagenham

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham school tour funded by the MPA and supported by the MPS and Barking & Dagenham Partnership

MPS MPA Barking & Dagenham Partnership

About the Blade Trilogy

Arc’s Blade Trilogy, written by Clifford Oliver and originally directed by Carole Pluckrose, represents a journey of work exploring some of the most hard-hitting issues affecting young people, the community and our society today.

From youth violence and gang crime, to loyalty, trust and abuse, each play has been developed through talking with young people about their personal experiences. Each performance and workshop programme for ages 12+ offers an opportunity to explore difficult themes in a safe space. The play is followed by a lively discussion where young people are offered a safe forum to talk about their feelings, fears and the complex pressures they experience.

Find out about the third in the Blade Trilogy, Girl E by Clifford Oliver commissioned by BTP, and the first in the series Boy X by Clifford Oliver

Move over flyer for reverse...

The Blade Trilogy




Arc recommends you visit: Fearless - an independent UK Charity, Fearless is part of Crimestoppers which runs the 0800 555 111 number, which you can call to give information about crime anonymously, or give information about crime online.  

For information for Community Safety Partnerships, Local Authorities, Criminal Justice Agencies and partners, download Pact Briefing Document (PDF, 339k)

To talk about Pact, The Blade Trilogy or Arc's work with vulnerable young men and women, call Nita Bocking at Arc on 020 8594 1095 or email