WORLD PREMIERE CODE will be starring at DANCIN’ OXFORD’s SUMMER DANCE FESTIVAL on Broad Street and Barton, it was announced this week.
CODE brings together trials bikes, parkour, physical theatre and live rap music to demonstrate the ‘county lines’ phenomenon and its effects on young people via Oxford based dance group Justice In Motion.
The narrative is delivered and performed by popular Sheffield-based artist, rapper, and actor Marcus ‘Matic Mouth’ Smith, whose lyrics explore the insight of someone with personal experience of the themes of the show.
He explores an unforgettable tale of a young person falling prey to such a gang. Groomed with gifts and coerced with threats, their victim takes on the dangerous business of drug running. The result is a visually stunning, breath-taking, haunting and mesmerising piece of theatre.
The young protagonist ‘Nicky’ will be played by 14-year-old Esra Marmet in his very first professional acting role.
The original piece of physical theatre and dance explores the growing levels of child exploitation through ‘county lines’ across regional UK by criminal gangs based in large cities.
Using athletic choreography and mesmerising bike stunts on a specially constructed outdoor set, CODE will be performed outdoors on Oxford Broad Street on August 19 at 12pm and 3pm, and at Barton Neighbourhood Centre, Headington on August 20 at 2pm and 5pm. All performances are free to attend.
County line gangs use children and young people to organise the sale, distribution and financing of drugs via mobile phones.
To create the piece, Dancin’ Oxford and Justice in Motion worked with organisations working on the ‘county lines’ front line, and heard real stories from young victims and survivors to create CODE. It aims to reveal the plight of vulnerable, exploited teenagers (and sometimes even younger children) lured and coerced into this underground industry.
Oxford’s Justice in Motion dance company is fast establishing itself at the forefront of large scale physical theatre and focuses on tackling vital contemporary social issues.
Artistic Director of Justice in Motion, Anja Meinhardt said: “Through CODE, we hope to shine a light on this hidden crime that has such a devastating impact on the lives of so many young people and arm them with the tools to resist.”
Claire Thompson, Director of Dancin’ Oxford said: “We are delighted to be showcasing the world premiere of this exciting and meaningful work and its important contemporary commentary.
CODE will then tour around the UK to raise awareness by demonstrating tell-tale signs of ‘county lines’ youth exploitation, to help friends, families, carers and educators spot when there is a problem.
CODE is at Oxford Broad Street on August 19 at 12pm and 3pm, and Barton Neighbourhood Centre, Headington on August 20 at 2pm and 5pm. For more information go to https://www.dancinoxford.co.uk/event/summer-festival-world-premiere-code/