The Arts Studio Theatre at Lagan Valley Island was the venue recently for a race-hate crime play ‘Read All About It’.
Hosted by Lisburn Policing and Community Safety Partnership, together with Lisburn City Council’s Good Relations Unit, and produced by drama group ‘Spanner in the Works’ the play focuses on cultural diversity and racism in Northern Ireland.
The main characters are four culturally diverse young people who learn about each other’s culture and their own prejudices while sharing school detention. The play illustrates how their parents and wider family circle influenced them.
The audience was able to engage with the three host organisations and debate the issues raised by the play, which was also screened at post-primary schools across the city.
Lisburn PCSP Chairman Councillor Brian Bloomfield, said: “Hate crime of any form is unacceptable and we hope that this play has raised awareness of race-hate crime in Lisburn. Everyone has a role to play in challenging attitudes of prejudice and hatred and this play is testament to this.
“. . . Recent research highlights that under-reporting of hate crime is an issue and victims must feel confident in reporting incidents to the Police.
“I hope that this play has raised awareness of racism and I would encourage people to report these crimes and incidents whenever and wherever they occur.”
Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of Leisure Services said he was delighted to support an initiative to tackle hate crime .
Lisburn Area Commander, Chief Inspector John Wilson said: “The PSNI take hate crime extremely seriously and we are fully committed to playing our role in preventing such dreadful crimes occurring but we need members of the public to recognise when a hate crime occurs and report it to their local police.
This play brings examines the reality of hate crime, educates the audience and leaves a lasting impression.
“I am very pleased that the young people of the community have the opportunity to see this play and it is my hope that they learn valuable lessons.”