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In the driving seat for climate change

PUBLISHED: 07:09 15 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:30 01 July 2010

Students from Flegg High at 3rd Ring Out, an art performance they helped to create

Students from Flegg High at 3rd Ring Out, an art performance they helped to create

Mary Hamilton

The sea levels rise, the ice caps melt and the temperature skyrockets - and it's up to you to cope with the consequences.

The sea levels rise, the ice caps melt and the temperature skyrockets - and it's up to you to cope with the consequences.

Third Ring Out by Metis puts the audience in the driving seat in the year 2033, asking them to make decisions that will affect the people of Norwich as they are gripped by a climate change catastrophe.

Metis researched the project in Norwich and Norfolk to meticulously link the performance to the local landscape, with the help of students from Flegg High school in Great Yarmouth in April.

The students worked with Metis to build the project, talking to members of the emergency services, the council and other agencies to investigate how the city would cope with a real-life crisis.

And yesterday they visited Third Ring Out to discover how their ideas were incorporated in to the project - and steered Norwich safely through a climate disaster at the same time.

Two shipping crates outside the Forum were transformed into communication centres, complete with video screens, audio reports, and a map of Norwich where the disaster played out in response to the decisions made by the 14 audience members.

“It was a really good experience,” said 13-year-old Jordan Putman. “We became a part of the performance - the set up and the visual effects were brilliant.

“We were really involved - we got to be members of parliament and we got to control the police and the fire services. It felt quite real and quite stressful.

“We know now what might happen one day, and we have done lots of work about how climate change could affect us as we grow older.

“Most of all it was great to see our ideas used - we came up with the fact that heat would melt the tarmac on the roads, and the idea of having a budget to spend, and those things were part of the final performance.”

Teacher Ruth Bullard said: “It has been such a fantastic experience - I think they should tour it around schools in Norfolk and encourage more students to get involved.

“Our students have gained so much in confidence from being involved. They have learned a lot and been very excited and committed to the work, and best of all they have been able to see their ideas take shape and make a difference in a very adult way.”

Metis director Zoe Svensden said: “It has been really exciting to work with the students to realise their ideas.

“So much of the show has come from them, so that rather than education being an off-shoot or an afterthought of the project it's been an integral part of the whole process.

“And it's been wonderful to see how much they enjoyed the final product.”

There are more performances of Third Ring Out: Rehearsing the Future outside the Forum today and tomorrow at 11am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm and 7pm. Tickets cost £5.

For more information or to book tickets visit www.nnf10.org.uk or call 01603 766400.

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