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Programme Outline

fist02The Classroom

The programme begins in the classroom where the context of the drama and the roles of the children are established. Children learn that they are to enter a fictional world in which they are members of a minority group called The Circle living in the city of Brodingham. The children are preparing for a coming of age ceremony that enrolls them as full and active members of the Circle and receive the mark of The Circle on the palm of their hands.

The drama begins when Gessler, a police officer, arrives to come and prepare them for their first Circle meeting. She is going to be assisted by Scarlett, but she seems to have been delayed. Gessler takes the children through their circle promise and presents The Nydle, the emblem of the Circle for them to look at. The children examine it carefully and reflect on what significance it has for them as Circle members. The children are invited to talk about the LAW, TOLERANCE, DEMOCRACY, RESPECT and FREEDOM. Scarlett arrives upset after an unpleasant incident and the children are charged with helping her as Gessler leaves to respond to the violence that is growing on the streets of Brodingham. Scarlett processes with the children to the hall for their first meeting.

fist02The Hall

Once at the location for the meeting Scarlett finds that there is no-one to meet them and as they wait for other Circle members to arrive they practise what will happen in the First Meeting. They are interrupted by Lippy who says that the other Circle members would not be coming as there was a protest against The Circle meetings. She is abusive towards Scarlett and the gathered children and through her actions it is obvious that she holds extreme and prejudiced views.IMG_3370B

Obviously upset by what had happened Scarlett voices her frustrations, stating that she wishes she could take action to stop the behaviour she had just experienced. Scarlett worries about the safety of her best friend, Amy and texts to see if she can find out what is happening in the city centre. She gets a text from Gessler, telling her to stay put.

A young woman called Fawkes then comes in with news from outside and invites the children and Scarlett into her secret den where they will be safe.

Once there, Fawkes rails against injustice suffered by the Circle, and shows how the people of Brodingham hate The Circle. They look at news and social media clippings underlining these arguments. She encourages Scarlett and the children to join ‘The Arc’ in order to make things better. Scarlett is still worried about Amy and wants to find her, so Fawkes agrees to help, but first they must take the children back to safety. They accompany them back to the classroom, and agree to meet again ‘in two days’.

Break

The children are collected by Scarlett and return to the secret meeting place, waiting for Fawkes. They begin to list ideas to improve the image of The Circle in the eyes of the people in Brodingham. Fawkes returns, welcomes the children and reads their ideas from the list. She disregards them and reveals that she in favour of something more extreme. Scarlett is reminded about what has happened to Amy, and agrees she wants to ‘fight’. Fawkes presents Scarlett with a bomb in a bag, stating that “justice is in this bag”. They are interrupted by a siren, signaling that The Arc is being raided by the police. Fawkes immediately leaves, and after a confused moment she is followed by Scarlett.

Gessler enters the secret meeting place in a search of Fawkes. She tells the children that Fawkes is a dangerous man. Gessler recognises the children from earlier and learns of Scarlett’s membership of The Arc and her possession of the bag. Gessler begins to unpick the things that the children have been told and shown by Fawkes and he presents a different perspective. She challenges Fawkes’ extreme point of view and tells the children that Fawkes had previous ‘form’. She asks for their help in understanding how she operates. Scarlett re-enters, but she is now without the bag. Confronted by Gessler and the children it is apparent that Fawkes’ influence has taken hold and she refuses to tell Gessler the whereabouts of the bag. The children attempt to convince her of Fawkes’ true motives. They ask her to speculate on the potential consequences of Scarlett carrying out Fawkes’ ‘single decisive act’. Eventually she is convinced and reveals that she has put the bag in a nearby dustbin. The drama ends with Gessler thanking the children for their invaluable help and leaving with Scarlett.

Out of role, the children are invited to think about what the people of Brodingham need to do to resolve their differences without violence.

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