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Mark Hunter

School pupils in Cheadle Hulme receive a dramatic lesson on the risks of underage drinking

February 11, 2014 5:19 PM

Last Friday local MP, Mark Hunter, joined pupils at Cheadle Hulme High School to watch 'Smashed', a powerful play that highlights the reality of alcohol misuse. The theatre education programme has been developed to help pupils understand the facts, causes, and consequences surrounding alcohol misuse and the risks of underage drinking.

The hard-hitting show tells the story of a group of friends whose misuse of alcohol ends in tragedy. The performance was followed by an interactive workshop, where the young people were able to question the decisions of characters, explore their motivations and the consequences of their actions, and actually change the outcome of the story.

Over the coming weeks 'Smashed' will be visiting schools across the north of England to challenge young people's attitudes to alcohol and empower them to make informed decisions about when and how they might choose to drink in the future.

Mark Hunter with the cast of 'Smashed'

Mark Hunter with the cast of 'Smashed'

Commenting after the performance, Mark said:

'The use of drama is a great way to engage students on this important topic, and I think it will have made a powerful impact on many of them. The performance and workshop effectively showed some of the risks of alcohol misuse and I hope will help influence our young people's attitude towards drinking in the future.'

Mark Baird, Head of Alcohol Policy at Diageo GB, which has sponsors the 'Smashed' programme said:

'We believe that young people need to be educated to make informed decisions about alcohol consumption in the future. Although we are encouraged to see that national statistics continue to report a significant decline in alcohol consumption amongst young people, there is always more to be done to tackle issues surrounding alcohol misuse. We know from Drinkaware research that most teenagers have their first taste of alcohol around the age of 13; which is why it's so important to be holding these workshops with this age group.'