SOBERING: IGS students Hayden Bloomfield and Alex Trevilyan with  The Smashed Project  performers Shane Merrigan, Sean Stefani and Sophia Stratton.
SOBERING: IGS students Hayden Bloomfield and Alex Trevilyan with The Smashed Project performers Shane Merrigan, Sean Stefani and Sophia Stratton. Cordell Richardson

Live theatre aims to smash underage drinking

A POWERFUL live theatre performance dedicated to breaking the culture of underage drinking and reducing alcohol-related harm in young people has been performed at four schools in Ipswich.

Called The Smashed Project, three actors from the drama-based training group Gibber visited Ipswich Grammar school, Ipswich Girls' Grammar, Bremer State High School and Ipswich State High to educate students in Years 8 and 9 about the dangers of underage drinking and how to respond to peer pressure.

The performers acted out an all too familiar scene where a group of friends get drunk at a party. The show tells the story of three teenagers whose lives are forever changed by choices they make while under the influence of alcohol.

Sophia Stratton, whose character Bronte gets glassed in the eye, said it was important to teach the kids about the dangers of drinking sooner rather than later.

"What we are trying to do is break the culture of underage drinking. Currently it is at 81 per cent in Australia that are not drinking, but we want to get it perfect," she said.

"This is why it's so important to travel around to schools so kids really get an idea about the consequences of underage drinking and even ways to avoid it in terms of peer pressure."

"We perform this for Year 8 and 9 students because it's important to get these messages across to them before they do turn 18.

"We try to stop it before it gets too far."

The Smashed Project was launched in the United Kingdom in 2004 and since then it has been delivered in 19 countries and reached more than 500,000 young people.