Changing Hearts and Minds: Crime of the Century Ten Years On

Just over ten years ago Crime of the Century, a raw and hard-hitting production, was devised in response to the worrying rise in knife crime. We wanted to create a piece of theatre that shed light on the issues surrounding gang violence and get to root of the problem, treating the cause as opposed to the symptom. Using words and movement alongside a contemporary score of hip-hop and dance music, we created a performance that packs a thought-provoking punch, and acts as a positive tool in the fight against the savagery of knife crime.

Ten years on, Crime of the Century has toured to over 500 venues and has been seen by a young audience of 75,000+. Sadly this intervention is still needed today - perhaps now more than ever. This year the production had its first run back at its place of origin, Chickenshed Theatre, alongside two conferences. Students and young people were given a platform to engage each other and professionals across various sectors in meaningful discourse and debate around social exclusion. Young people who are directly affected by the issues Crime of the Century raises must be given a seat at the table - if we are speaking about young people, we need to speak to them. Their voices enriched the conversations we had over the two days and informed our Crime of the Century Outreach team’s delivery structure and content immeasurably.

The conferences were hugely inspiring and illuminating in terms of learning how we as a society can and adopt a new way of thinking. We look forward to continuing to reach new participants, encouraging them to play their role in ending social exclusion.