Arc news: December 2008

To Die For performance
To Die For

To Die For by Clifford Oliver, directed by Andy Rogers

On 1 December, Arc staged a special performance event at The Malthouse in Barking featuring its new weapon-carrying play To Die For - the third in a series of new performance programmes commissioned by Havering Community Safety Partnership.


Having just completed a highly successful tour of 13 schools and PRUs in the London Borough of Havering, To Die For is a powerful new piece with interactive workshop for Secondary Years 9 and 10.

Actors Lee Vassell and Jordan Barrett Actors Lee Vassell and Phoebe Oliver

The performance and workshop at Arc's special event generated a large amount of valuable discussion and ideas around weapon-carrying and young people's safety, with Barking and Dagenham's Acting Borough Commander Superintendent Dave Reed (below) speaking to the audience on behalf of the Borough's police.

Actors Phoebe Oliver and Natalie Smith Barking and Dagenham's Acting Borough Commander Superintendent Dave Reed

The audience was made up of young people in the community, members of the police and crown prosecution service, local councillors and dignitaries from LBBD and from Havering council, and safer neighbourhood representatives around London.

Qyestions from the audience Audience debate

Discussing the story with the audience

Arc's young team of actors; Jordan Barrett, Lee Vassell, Phoebe Oliver and Natalie Smith, were joined for a special Panel Q&A session, along with writer Clifford Oliver, director Andy Rogers and Pastor Ade Adesina, and chaired by Arc's Chair of Board, Michael Ainsworth of the CJS Race, Confidence & Justice Unit.

Pastor Ade Adesina with Andy Rogers and Clifford Oliver Superintendent Dave Reed with Arc's Chair of Board Michael Ainsworth


About To Die For

Some young people carry knives. It's not a new thing; it's been going on for years. When questioned, many will say that they do it for their own protection, but is that true? Are our streets so dangerous that children as young as ten or eleven have to arm themselves? 

Fear, bravado, or fashion? At a time when the number of young people dying from knife attacks is spiralling, Arc has produced a new play for young people to explore this extremely raw and urgent social issue with sensitivity and respect.

Arc's dynamic young cast will take its audience on a powerful and poignant journey using contemporary music and language. Commissioned by Havering Community Safety Partnership , the play and follow-up workshop encourages young people to engage in examining the issues and to draw upon their own experiences and behaviours.

To Die For isn't set in a knife-crime hot spot. It doesn't focus on 'gang-related violence'. It's a play about ordinary young people and the choices they make, the impact of their actions and the need to be 'cool'. It's about the effects of drugs or alcohol on their ability to make decisions but, most of all, it's about staying safe.

Arc's three Community Safety plays are now available for booking. To find out more about To Die For, Stephen K Patterson (exploring anti-social behaviour) and Falling Over (looking at alcohol-related crime), please contact Theresa Snooks, Communications Manager on 020 8594 1095 or by email on

Arc diary of events

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Throughout '20
Young people for LB B&D MOPAC & Jack Petchey:
Raised Voices female leadership programme

Throughout '20
Nursery, infant & primary schools:
Oliver's Tales storytelling workshops

Throughout '20
Primary & secondary schools in London Boroughs:
Broadcast/Broadcast Junior online safety programme

Throughout '20
Primary & secondary schools for BeFirst/LB B&D:
Streets Ahead / Crossing Over road safety drama workshops

Throughout '20
London & south east primary schools for HS2 Ltd:
Playing it Safe health & safety programme

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