A daring performance

22nd August 1997 at 01:00
I Dare You!, Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh

Who dares loses'' is the clear motto of this play exploring the dangers of using the railway as playground, and its success may well prove that visiting the theatre can save lives.

I Dare You!, performed by Figment Theatre Company and sponsored by Railtrack, has already been seen by some 15,000 English pupils and will be seen by another 2,000 pupils on the Fringe. It is aimed at 10 to 12-year-olds, though entry is free for under-16s. If there is enough demand, the play will tour Scottish schools.

The format is simple. Four characters hang round the railway, led by hard-nut Sharky who's out to prove he's the boss. The self-appointed gang-leader is joined by Jono, whose dad is a doctor and whose mum is a teacher, but who denies he's "posh''.

Conflict grows between them over Sharky's girlfriend, Terri, who is the object of the final, tragic dare. The fourth character is Terri's little sister, Kelly.

At times the play hammers its subject home didactically rather than dramatically but, in the words of Railtrack Scotland's director Paul Prescott, "If the play makes just one child stop and think before venturing near a railway line, then it will have been worthwhile."

Until August 30. Any school interested in booking the production after that date, should contact John Collier, tel: 0113 278 6579

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