Theatre play highlights the dangers of social media to young people

Date published: 09 February 2016

A theatre play highlighting the dangers of social media to children aged 14 and above has been staged across Northern Ireland by the Youth Justice Agency in partnership with Spanner In The Works Theatre Company.

The play, ‘Control Alt Delete’, is part of a wider initiative aimed at preventing children from entering the youth justice system, and diverting away those on the periphery or in the early stages of offending. It was designed to help young Internet users to identify and avoid situations that could threaten their safety.   It also encouraged them to explore how safe they really are on the World Wide Web, and in doing so help them gain a better understanding of the dangers of social media and how these dangers could potentially bring them into contact with the youth justice system.  The young people also built critical-thinking and decision-making skills relating to computer usage in order to help to protect them from inappropriate behaviour online.

Mary Aughey, Director of Youth Justice Services, said: “The Youth Justice Agency aims to make communities safer by helping children to stop offending. Although the Agency works predominantly with children already involved in the formal justice system, helping them to repair the harm they have caused and to avoid further offending, it is also committed to supporting initiatives, such as this, which help prevent children entering the formal criminal justice system.

“Control Alt Delete is a funny and hard hitting play, but most of all, it is a reality check for us all.”

Sixteen productions of ‘Control Alt Delete’ were staged throughout January and early February, with eight performances in the Belfast area and a further eight in other parts of Northern Ireland.

A further production, ‘Think How You Drink’, a play about the dangers of alcohol, will also be performed before the end of March.

Notes to editors: 

The schedule of performances was as follows:

Monday 25 January, 9:15am – Sacred Heart College, Omagh

Monday 25 January, 6pm – Craigavon Civic Centre

Tuesday 26 January, 10:30am – Antrim Education Authority Centre

Wednesday 27 January, 1pm – Long Tower Youth Club, Derry

Wednesday 27 January, 7pm – Strabane AYE Centre

Thursday 28 January, 11:45am – Drumglass High School, Dungannon

Thursday 28 January, 6pm – Newry Arts Centre

Friday 29 January, 1pm – Drumragh College, Omagh

Monday 1 February, 7:30pm – Holy Cross “Rcity Centre”, Belfast

Tuesday 2 February, 10am - Loughshore Education Resource Centre, Belfast

Tuesday 2 February, 7:30pm - Holy Trinity Youth Centre, Belfast

Wednesday 3 February, 7:30pm - Doyle Youth Club, Belfast

Thursday 4 February, 4pm – Rosario Youth Centre, Belfast

Thursday 4 February, 8pm – Saints Youth Club, Twinbrook, Belfast

Friday 5 February, 7pm – St Peters Immaculata Youth Centre, Belfast

Saturday 6 February, 7pm – Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club, Belfast

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