Old Palace students watch a thought-provoking play on drug use based on a touching true story. 

Old Palace of John Whitgift Year 10 students watched a thought-provoking performance and then took part in a workshop on drug misuse, as part of their Learning for Life programme. On Thursday 2nd February, The Stopwatch Theatre Company retold the true story of Daniel Spargo-Mabbs, a bright and popular sixth former at Archbishop Tenison’s School, Croydon, whose last words to his mother were “I love you mum, I promise I won’t die”.

Three days later, he died after taking a double dose of MDMA (ecstasy). No specific actor played Daniel; they used a hoody to symbolise his presence. The script was written based on interviews with Daniel’s close friends and family after he died. It was interesting to see not only how his mistake cost him his life but also the ways in which it affected his friends, family and school.

“Although his story brought many of us to tears, it was important that we were able to learn about drug misuse from a story that was close to home and that we could relate to,” one student reflected. Daniel was hard-working and from a good family background. More importantly, he was not a drug addict.

The purpose of the play was to show the students that it could happen to anyone; with an understanding you make a choice between right and wrong, and the confidence to say no by sticking to your decisions without giving in to peer pressure or temptation.

Written by Old Palace student, Rida, Year 10

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