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Michael's Story Dec
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Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story 2009



“A positive production by young people, addressing bullying, knife and gun crime. Every secondary school and sixth form college should see it.”
David Michael, Chair, Lewisham Community Police Consultative Group

In our newly revised production of SWAGGA, the story focuses on Michael – a 17 year old who finds himself caught up in his brother’s world of drug dealing. On the lookout for fast money, and wanting to raise his status, Michael and his friend are arrested with firearms. Both make a decision that will change their lives forever.

Set in South East London, SWAGGA reflects a youthful world of posturing and dark humour. Against a visual backdrop inspired by Richard III, comic book heroes and graphic novels, the themes are played out to the beat of an original hip hop soundtrack and the rhythm of street dance. Devised by a team of young writers, MCs, actors, lyricists and dancers, SWAGGA is part of the SWAGGA Partnership Project, a creative project aimed at tackling the risks faced by young people at a time when gang crime and street violence is on the increase.


Created and performed by a team of young lyricists, dancers, writers, singers and actors
Photography by Martin Burton.

"Greetings, I have just returned from seeing your production and I was so moved by it that I was compelled to write. I simply want to tell you that it made my year. It had all the elements that make for great entertainment, I found it funny, serious, educational and thought provoking. Most of all, you all looked as if you really enjoyed performing. I want to wish you all the best in all that you do...You keep us sane, keep doing it. In unity..."
Benjamin Zephaniah

"Michael's Story was thought-provoking and relevant...young people loved it" Catch 22

"Michael's Story was just great...with wonderful performances" Dr Jill Jameson

Click here for more about the SWAGGA Partnership Project

Lyrical extract from Michael's Story

Hierarchy of Harm
Original Lyrics by Talmud Bah

The Gang Ring the alarm – I’m a raging storm constantly born

Pay the price, make the sacrifice you’ve been forewarned

What will it be son – you in or out?

No time for doubt – hash, ash, green, brown?

Smack, crack or snout – gimme the cash quick

Or get slapped, smacked or knocked out!

No credit here, you must be high, you have no fear

No next time, pay me this time, do I make myself clear?

Or you can pay me in other ways, but don’t tell the man

I can put you on a private payment plan

Forget that, if he finds out, you better mind out

You will get a time out, in the back of a van

Let's play it straight, don’t wanna end up a victim of hate

We’re low level, no level, but the money is great

It would be great to move up, I just can’t wait

You’re on a hype – to reach the top is a dangerous climb

It's true, what you gotta do, gets worse every time

To reach the top spot, you’ve gotta cross the line (repeat)


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ART LINKS

Swagga programme
Download the cast & credits list here.
(Adobe Acrobat Reader required, which can be downloaded free here)

Click here for Lyrical Extract

Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
Michael's Story
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