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Rail safety promoted through innovative in-schools production at St. Ronan’s

9 May 2019

A live in-school theatre production #crossingthelines, featuring key rail safety messaging is touring a number of schools, including St. Ronan’s, Lurgan, next week. Translink has partnered with Replay Theatre Company through Arts & Business NI with the innovative #crossingthelines community initiative.

A series of creative workshops for years 9,10 and 11 took place at St. Ronan’s and a number of other schools, last year, reaching around 600 young people. Students gave their views and suggestions on safe train travel as well as trespass and anti-social behaviour. This feedback has formed the basis for Replay Theatre Company’s #crossingthelines theatre production, which is visiting schools next week.

Students from St. Ronan’s College also appear in filmed segments of the in-schools production.

Richard Knox, Translink’s Head of Rail Service Operations said: “Trains remain one of the safest ways to travel and we have been promoting this message during engagement with youth audiences. Replay Theatre Company received detailed insight from young people involved in last years’ workshops. Young people realise that dangers and potential threats come from misuse of trains and railway property”. 

He continued: “The #crossingthelines initiative and production has allowed us to work with students in a positive, creative and engaging way.  Working with young people to influence other youth audiences and passengers makes our campaign even more credible and will help us to encourage safe and responsible behaviour at stations and on board our trains and to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for all our customers.”

Richard concluded: “I would like to thank the students of St. Ronan’s, for their feedback during the in-schools workshops last year, their assistance in putting this production together and for welcoming Replay Theatre Company and the #crossingthelines team into their school. It is also timely, as it comes ahead of works on the railway line in Lurgan in coming months”.

Brian Mullan, CEO of Replay Theatre Company added: “Replay is passionate about bringing quality theatre experiences to young people. This partnership with Translink has allowed us to produce a highly entertaining piece of theatre, involving young people in the creative development process, while using the arts to explore issues around rail safety with young people who use trains on their commute.  We are delighted to be bringing the resulting new play #crossingthelines written by Stephen Beggs and directed by Matt Faris to schools across Northern Ireland.  We also welcome continued value that Translink places on the arts as a vehicle to communicate its messages to the local community.” 

Mary Nagele, CEO Arts & Business NI said: “We are delighted to support the innovative #crossingthelines project where we connected our arts member Replay Theatre Company with our business member Translink to deliver an effective schools engagement project where local school children explored safety around rail travel and associated issues including trespass and anti-social behaviour. It is really great to see the output from the schools’ workshops culminate in the bespoke in-school theatre production now touring”.  

Translink will be carrying out major work on the railway in the Lurgan area later in 2019, as part of the the Lurgan Area Track Renewal Project.  Over 1.7km of track will be relayed during a four-week closure period in July and August, running from the William Street level crossing to beyond Bell’s Row level crossing. 

The in-schools theatre production takes place from 14-17th May 2019.*



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