A powerful performance raises awareness of underage drinking

Students learnt about the risks associated with underage drinking when they watched ‘Smashed’, a hard-hitting and emotive theatrical production which took place in our main hall.

The drama told the story of two 16 year olds, ‘sporty’ Michelle and ‘academic’ Scott, and 17 year old ‘NEET’ Lee (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

During the performance, students saw how Michelle and Scott were influenced to skip out of revision and studying to drink in the park with Lee. Events escalate, with drink and games of truth or dare, resulting in Scott collapsing. Michelle shows concern about Scott ‘getting off his head’, explaining that teachers and parents don’t understand and stating ‘drinking doesn’t hurt!’

Initially, Lee wants to just leave Scott in the park but they take him home, leave him outside, knock on the door and run away. Scott’s Mum finds him and his Dad says, ‘He’s smashed’!

On waking, Scott feels tired and exhausted; there are photos of him online in a drunken state - raising the question, are these new mates really good friends?

Parent expectations sometimes put young people under stress and the Dad queries whether his drinking is because of the pressure; he knows it is affecting his son’s school work.

Director of PSHRE Mrs Iglinski said, “This engaging performance highlighted issues around underage drinking and how others may influence young people. It gave information of how many young people are hospitalised each year due to alcohol misuse. Our students were surprised that this exceeds 5000 young people a year.

“The performance also explained the physical, psychological and social effects of alcohol such as hydration, short term memory loss, cirrhosis and crime.

“We would like to thank ‘Smashed’ for their powerful presentation which we hope will help our students have the confidence and knowledge to stand up to peer pressure and understand the facts, causes and risks of alcohol misuse.”