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A successful weekend for Justice in Motion's CODE

An adrenaline-fuelled set of debut shows stunned Newbury audiences.

This past weekend we hosted Justice in Motion’s latest production CODE outside the Riverside Community Centre and Greenham Community Centre as the latest shows in our free programme with 101 Outdoor Arts.

The performance opened with rap artist and actor Marcus Smith ‘Matic Mouth’, who wrote the show inspired by true case studies. Telling the story through his powerful lyrics, he shared how easy it is for young people to be coerced and exploited into criminal gangs known as County Lines, and how they can then be forced into subsequent drug and knife related crime through this.

Leading the show was talented performer Esra Marmet who played a young boy being manipulated into County Lines. His performance was truly captivating, displaying some awe-inspiring parkour and skateboard tricks in his debut performance.

Image Credit: Simon Vail

The specially designed urban playground set fully immersed you in the story, designed in a way where the performers effortlessly moved whole set pieces to change the scene you were looking at - transforming it from a family home, to a skatepark, a school or even a crime scene. Backed by atmospheric sound and bass-heavy music, parkour performers jumped, swung and flipped across the set while trials bikes leaped from platform to platform. One wince-inducing moment had audience members holding their breath as a skilled trials bike rider sliced through the air between a performers limbs, pinning them to the ground in a high-risk stunt!

Thanks to the generous funding we received from Get Berkshire Active and Sport England, three young people received the opportunity to work with the company alongside the professional performers. During their 4-day residency, the young people aged 13 - 17 learnt all about the topic of County Lines as well as parkour movement skills and choreography to create part of the show and perform alongside the professional athletes and performers in the public performances.To close, the artistic director of the show Anja Meinhardt shared some words about the company’s reasons for developing the production and about the support available for anyone effected by the themes.

For anyone who missed it, CODE will be going on tour to Broad Street and Barton Neighbourhood Centre in Oxford next and then to Kensington and Chelsea Festival in London to spread its message even further and shed a light on the exploitation of vulnerable young people and how they are particularly at risk of exploitation in County Lines.