We are super excited about the Oasis Youth Theatre in Lord’s Hill who are putting on a play about STOP THE TRAFFIK with Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill.
One million to STOP THE TRAFFIK tells our story through the experiences and words of Phil Lane (co-founder of STOP THE TRAFFIK) and testimonies of trafficked individuals.
We thought it would be brilliant to interview one of the actresses from the play Gemma Aked Priestley.
What is the play about?
It is about trafficking from all over the world. It looks at Oasis Global and STOP THE TRAFFIK who are trying to put a stop to it and it also shows what people can do to help.
Why did you get involved?
I got involved mainly because it’s my local youth group. I also have a particular interest in this area because I’d heard of trafficking but didn’t know much about it and I found it very educational. I just had no idea of the extent it was happening and how bad it is.
What have you learnt and how has it impacted you?
I have learnt how widespread trafficking is, I didn’t realise about traffik – free chocolate and how unless it’s fair trade it’s very likely that young boys work as slaves on cocoa farms to produce it. What I really found shocking is that trafficking also happens in England.
It has impacted my life in a few ways, I’ve started eating fair trade chocolate for example and I’m thinking of doing a gap year and volunteering with trafficked individuals either in the UK or a different part of the world.
What do you hope to achieve?
Our main aim is raising awareness, but as a theatre group we also know it’s important to entertain. Hopefully through doing both the audience will remember what we’ve shown and will want to find out what happened to the people in the stories and make a difference themselves.
Tell us a bit about your character?
This is mainly an ensemble piece; I play a number of small roles like a child on a cocoa plantation and a trafficker. The main character I play is Mary who is a mother of a girl who’s been trafficked in the UK.
How was it to play these difficult stories?
I found the bigger part more challenging; I had to play it with more sensitivity, and was constantly aware that Mary is based on a real person. The structure needs concentration, and initially as a group it was quite difficult, but the more you become involved with the story the more you want to stick with it.
Which story did you find most touching?
They’re all touching in their own way. There’s one about two children from Mumbai who were 9 and 12 when they disappeared and never seen again. My sister is 10 and it really makes me relate it to my life. There’s also a story about a girl from Cambodia with a happy ending which I find moving.
Gemma and I agreed that there is hope behind the play; it’s not about overwhelming people with a global issue. The play tells how everyone can make a difference, even through small things like eating fair trade chocolate and talking about it at school.
If you’re in Southampton UK go see the play!
If you’re in a school or a youth group check out www.startfreedom.org and see what you can do.
Watch the promotional teaser
One Million to – STOP THE TRAFFIK (the official STOP THE TRAFFIK play)
6th & 8-10th March 2010
Oasis Academy: Lord’s Hill, Upper School Theatre
Tickets priced £5 or £4 if bought in advance for the 6th, 8th & 9th March.
On these nights a Family ticket is also available: Family ticket: 2 adults, 2 children in full time education £15
All tickets are for the 10th March are £6 and available from
Oasis Academy: Lord’s Hill Community Reception,
Fairisle Road, SO16 8BY