E-safety play ensures our students stay smart on the web

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07/06/2010 by mcmakarolyn

The cast and director, Prab Singh (top right), of 'chameleon.com'

A theatre company has helped Manchester Creative and Media Academy students discover how the digital world is not all it seems – especially when it moves into the real one.

North West Theatre Arts Company presented ‘chameleon.com’ to our year 8 pupils at both MC&MA girls’ and boys’ sites.

It follows shy school girl Sarah and her friends, the ultra confident Nicki and funny Martin when they are sucked into the world of online chat rooms. When Nicki goes missing after she meets up with her faceless Facebook friend ‘Fit Dan’, it becomes all the more real – and scary.

Raising awareness

Holly Younge, the actress who plays Sarah, and Martin’s mother told The Academy Extra how the play aims to present the hidden dangers of the internet for young people.

“It’s hard hitting, it’s straight to the point – some of it’s quite scary. I think everything thinks Sarah’s about to enter into the older person’s house, but it turns out that it’s not and I think that twist keeps the audience interested.”

It’s not telling tales, it’s staying safe

Adam Brown, who plays Martin, stated how ‘chameleon.com’ also illustrates how young people shouldn’t be scared to tell people in authority about internet bullies. 

“At the end, it turns out Martin’s the one who reports the character of Fit Dan. That gets the message across that it is easy to blow the whistle.”

'Chameleon.com's' Nicki scanning the internet for 'fake' friends

Holly added that young people should use the internet safely: “I think a lot of kids find it really easy to hide behind a computer and they feel quite safe but it’s actually not.

“We’re not telling children to not use the internet. It’s just that young people should be careful what they do; what information you give out on there.”

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