Friends of knife crime teen watch play in his honour

FRIENDS of a teenager who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack watched a play made his honour at his former school.

Pupils at Sir John Cass’s Foundation school in Stepney Way, where 14-year-old Shaquille Smith attended before his murder in August 2008, also took part in anti-knife crime workshops on February 16.

The keen footballer and army cadet was stabbed in the stomach after getting innocently caught between two rival gangs in Hackney.

The play was produced by theatre company Chickenshed and had a successful month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009.

Susan Jamson, of Chickenshed, said: “It was a very emotional day for the students because of the content of the piece. Lots of the pupils at the school knew Shaquille.”

Two of the Hackney teen’s cousins are in the play, which is called Crime of the Century.

Daniel Banton plays the perpetrator of the crime and Jojo Morrall plays the victim’s mother.

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Shaquille’s uncle Paul Morrall is Chickenshed’s director of education and he led the workshops.

Ms Jamson added: “We want to show that if you go out with a knife you could be the perpetrator or the victim. Knives don’t protect you.

“The workshops let the pupils talk about their fears.”

Crime of the Century is now touring to other theatres, schools and community centres across the country.