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Performing arts centre opens with cautionary tale
9:59am Friday 4th January 2013 in News
STARK MESSAGE: Members of The King’s Academy drama club stage an evening of theatre, including a dramatisation of Ashleigh Hall’s murder, in the school’s new £1m performance suite
A HARD-HITTING drama based on the murder of a North-East teenager was at the centre of an evening of theatre staged by students.
The poignant telling of the killing of Ashleigh Hall, 17, from Darlington, was performed by students from The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, was given as the academy’s new performance arts suite made its public debut.
Ashleigh was killed in 2009 after meeting a stranger who had posed as a teenager on the internet in order to ensnare her. Convicted rapist Peter Chapman, from Stockton, was later jailed for life after pleading guilty to her murder.
The piece was staged by students in order to warn other youngsters to be cautious when using social media.
The event was held by the academy’s drama club, which started five years ago.
Head of performance arts Danielle Paul said: “During the October half-term, students attended a six-hour workshop and created pieces of performance work linked to the theme ‘learning to fly’.
“The young people shared ideas and opinions relating to barriers to success. They identified bullying, social media, peer pressure, family relationships and body image as possible barriers, then explored how to overcome them in their performances.”
The performance arts facility is part of a £1m extension built to meet increased demand for drama among students.