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In 2001, Childnet commissioned Gwent Theatre - a professional drama company in Wales - to write and perform a special drama for schools on the dangers of internet chatrooms entitled "A Stranger in the House - Jade's Story". This drama was launched at the BETT Show in London in January 2002 and performed in over 20 schools across the UK. The drama was highly acclaimed by the pupils, teachers and parents alike.

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The drama told the story of a near- miss scenario in which a 14 year old girl agrees to meet up with someone she has "fallen in love with" in a chatroom. However, the person who she eventually meets turns out to be anything but a "sweetheart". Thankfully the young girl realises her mistake, runs to a police station and is safely returned to her family. When this drama was performed in schools it was presented to year 5 and 6 pupils and then the actors ran a number of drama workshops with the pupils to help them further reflect on what took place and how they would feel if they were in a similar experience.

If a number of LEAs were keen to use the drama in schools for a concentrated period of time it might be possible to launch a further mini tour of the drama.

The drama company have kindly agreed to allow Childnet to make the drama script and the performing rights available on a limited educational basis to schools for use with pupils to help explore the issues of chatroom safety. The script can either be read out aloud with different pupils taking parts, or performed for the whole school. The opening scene from the play is included here which gives an introduction to the characters. The full text is available from Childnet who will work with the school on how it is to be used and provide the chatroom slides which are projected from a computer.

[Click here to see a short extract]

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