Faith Drama Company Tackles Gang Culture in Britain

A faith-based charity is taking on Britain's alarming gun and knife culture with a hard-hitting play and the launch of a new 'Pledge-a-Pound' campaign.

A faith-based charity is taking on Britain's alarming gun and knife culture with a hard-hitting play and the launch of a new 'Pledge-a-Pound' campaign.

|PIC1|FAITH Drama Productions, a London-based organisation that works with young people involved in, or at risk of getting involved in gangs, knife and gun crime, is seeking at least 1,000 people who can all pledge a pound to enable them to bring their hard-hitting play to the masses.

The not-for-profit organisation, which has been working with disadvantaged youths at risk of social exclusion for three years, is keen to put an end to the growing number of deaths from shootings, knife violence, gang war and revenge killings.

Eight teenagers have been shot or stabbed to death in London since the start of the year, most recently 14-year-old Paul Erhahon in east London.

The deadly trend is on the rise as latest police figures reveal that people involved in gang violence are getting younger, and the offences more serious.

FAITH says this has got to stop and has launched a three-minute online video campaign to generate support for the revised version of 'Life on the Stairs' which will be showing in Birmingham for eight days from 3 to 11 August with a special one night only performance in London on 28 July.

'Life on the Stairs', which showed at the Stratford Rex in London last August, fuses drama with hip hop, grime and dance to tell a thought-provoking story that speaks out against gangs, guns and knife culture.

Set against a backdrop of council estates and hoodies, 'Life on the Stairs' is written by 2003 Carlton Hobbs Award winner and Christian, Gbemisola Ikumelo.

Many of the young actors in the 20-member cast are from disadvantaged backgrounds - some have faced poverty, homelessness and even had a first hand experience of criminal gang culture. Others are aspiring artists hoping to learn from professionals while spreading a message of peace.

"I used to be involved with a gang," states 18-year-old Michelle, "but joining this [FAITH Drama Productions] has given me the chance to hang out with different peeps and gain self-confidence and better acting skills."

20-year-old cast member Simone added: "I'm so excited to be working with a young and vibrant Christian group that are set to do great things in the kingdom of God."

For more information on Faith Drama Productions please visit: www.faithdrama.org.uk

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