‘Its Only A Pocket Knife’ is the title of a ‘Anti Knife Crime’ self-written and devised short play that aimed to convey an important thought provoking message to young people through performances at Tendring College and several other High Schools in the surrounding area
The play portrays a defining and critical period in the lives of a group of young people within which one decides to carry, ‘but not use’, a pocket knife – but eventually does so as the various pressures and relationships within the group affect his judgement! The dialogue is incredibly accurate and shows how peer pressure, youthful relationships and inexperience so typical of the teenage years, conspire to result in the tragic ending that we read about far too often.
Within the original plans for this project the young people would have performed the play to young people both within their own college and through ‘outreach’ performances at a number of other High Schools and Colleges in the area – it was hoped that if involvement in the play, or seeing one of the performances of it, stops just one young person from carrying a knife, then it will have fulfilled its aims.
Regretably the initial performance was cancelled a few days prior to its scheduled date when the College had to ‘lock down’ because of the Covid outbreak. The continuation of the Covid restrictions also led to the cancellation of the planned performances at the other schools and given the duration of the Covid lockdown, it proved not to be possible to re-instigate the project at a future date with the same group of youngsters in the cast. The hope of picking back up on the project at a later date at the College’s Frinton location, equally proved not to be possible.
Given the above circumstances there is no photographic record of the project or the young people from the period in which it was developed and rehearsed.
However, whilst those in the cast sadly missing out on the satisfaction and excitement they would have gained from actually performing and also in leading the discussion with those young people in the other local schools, the skills and experience that they gained from developing a script, the characters they portrayed and the message it sought to give, remain entirely valid. There is no doubt that this was still a valuable experience for those involved and they should feel justly proud of what they achieved.