Faith Drama Based on Gang Culture Plays in London
|TOP|Faith Drama Productions’ latest piece Life on the Stairs is currently playing in Stratford, London (22-26 August), capturing attention for its challenge of today’s gang culture and gun violence.
Written by 2003 Carlton Hobbs Award winner Gbemisola Ikumelo, the play is based on the tragic but increasingly familiar news reports of youths who have lost their lives to shootings, gang war and revenge killings.
“One of the reasons I am so passionate about working with young people now is so that they can see there is a much bigger world out there beyond hoodies and flash ring tones," states Gbemisola Ikumelo.
"God has called them to be a generation who will do 'exploits'. It's far more individual to latch on to Christ than some trend. Trends will change and die down, but God will always remain constant.”
The drama follows the lives of six young people who are brought together by the Ends. When Damien is shot and killed at the Notorious "Club Diabolic", his friends decide someone must pay and war is declared throughout the estate.
The content of the play is hard-hitting but also deeply thought-provoking as it suggests a more positive way of life for today’s youths. The script challenges the audience:
These stairs were built with the intention of taking you somewhere.
Have you ever heard of a staircase that goes nowhere?
You were not built to spend your life on these stairs.
You were built for so much more than that..."
Ikumelo explains, “I am sick of Christians preaching to the saved. It's time we went out into the darkness and brought the people into the light. FAITH Drama Productions aims to do just this.
|AD|“We speak the language of the youth and not Christian Jargon. To reach the lost youth, they must first hear what you are saying and our powerful, raw artistic pieces make them and the church sit up and take notice."
FAITH Productions is a not-for-profit project working with disadvantaged youths who are at risk of social exclusion because of lack of money, life skills, education and general support.
Many of the young actors in the 20-member cast are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have experienced firsthand what it really means to live life on the stairs.
The drama workshops with the youths are used as a means of cultivating skills needed for personal development, well-being and to promote social change within them and the community.
Throughout the year FAITH trains volunteers through weekly drama workshops the skills of performance and acting, usually culminating in a showcase of their newly learned abilities. These drama workshops are used as a means of cultivating skills needed for personal development, well-being and to promote social change within them and the community.