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How The Comedy School teach children about knife crime

How The Comedy School teach children about knife crime



The Comedy School‘s Keith Palmer has explained how It’s No Joke! teaches 10 and 11 year olds about knives – and why the comedy show and following Q&A with the actors resonates with the children so effectively the danger of carrying a knife.

When the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance spoke to The Comedy School in November about the work they do, Keith Palmer told us The Comedy School was creating a clear case for participative comedy in education and rehabilitation.

Now, speaking to The Times, he says the need for this work is becoming more important in light of rising knife crime.

It’s No Joke! was written after research and consultation with youth groups and the police. Research shows that pupils who think carrying a knife is a defence drops by 88% after seeing the show. The article helps explain why,

“It was really entertaining, and it had really funny bits, but it had a really important message that got through,” the teacher says to the class at the end. I’ve been sitting at the back, watching the show for the first time, and I couldn’t agree more.

He [Keith Palmer] also uses comedy in courses for people in prisons and for people with mental-health issues. “Comedy makes a perfect medium for educating people,” he says. “If people are laughing, they are listening. And if they are listening then the education process can begin.”

The article features further testimonies from Richard Taylor (the father of Damilola Taylor), the former borough commander of the Metropolitan Police and a local sergeant. Following Baroness Newlove, the government’s victims commissioner, suggesting children are taught from the age of seven about the danger of carrying knives, Keith Palmer says,

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to get the idea of comedy and knife crime because it’s such a serious issue; they think it’s no laughing matter. But once people see the show, they get it.”

Read the full article, dated 13 December 2018, here [Paywall]

To find out more about the work of The Comedy School, click here to read the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance’s interview with Keith Palmer


Image courtesy of The Comedy School