Event: Theatre of Protest (Jan)

Sunday 15 January
Roundhouse Studio (nearest tube – Chalk Farm)

Join this “day of debate and performance” organised by internationally acclaimed playwright, Kay Adshead.

“Exploring global events and the very nature of protest” through theatre, choral and dance performances including by Mama Quilla Theatre Company, students at the Barking College of the Performing Arts and the City Lit; lively discussion with groups from the Crossroads Women’s Centre, and a live link up with Occupy St Pauls.

Book soon, though: fewer than 80 seats still available!


From the Streets of Revolution…

“The author wants to convene a public inquiry into the workings of the whole planet…well, why not?” – The Times on Kay Adshead’s BITES at the Bush.

Since December 2010, award-winning writer Kay Adshead has been creating performance out of the protests here in the UK and abroad, for Mama Quilla Theatre. On Sunday 15 January 2012, for one night only, these pieces will be put together in a series of linked events at The Roundhouse from 4:00–9:30pm.

Audience, casts and theatre-makers are invited to meet each other and talk.

“Adshead is that rare species, a socialist feminist who believes in fun as well as getting the politics right”
– Tribune


Made at Barking College of Performing Arts, with 30 young East Enders, it dramatises events around the student protests on 9 December 2010 in Westminster, as the English Parliament voted to increase tuition fees.

While in the liberal press, the student protests were described as “a generation finding its voice”, prior to our production, only 12 out of a cast of 30 Barking students said they were likely to vote in a general election in the UK. They believed “the student protesters were probably all rich”.

Barking College of Performing Arts under Mark Civil produces five original theatre pieces for huge casts of young people every year. “The standard of the productions is staggering.” – Steven Beard, actor, RSC, RNT, Old Vic, films Remains of the Day, Shakespeare in Love, etc.


Beyond verbatim, inspired and informed by real accounts, this new short piece explores what the women of the Arab Revolution might have said. It is performed for Mama Quilla by Arinda Alexander, Sarah Akigbogun, Tina Gray, Jennifer James, Jody Jameson, Rus Kallan, Eugenia Low, Margery Mason and Vivienne Rochester.


A 15-minute chorus workshop, open to all, will create a minute of theatre to be performed on the day.

6:00PM – BREAK


Open discussion on overcoming injustices with All African Women’s Group, Black Women’s Rape Action Project, English Collective of Prostitutes, Global Women’s Strike (GWS) and Women of Colour in the GWS, Payday men’s network, Single Mothers’ Self Defence, Women Against Rape, and WinVisible (Women with Visible and Invisible Disabilities), all based at Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town.

Now home to over 15 organisations, projects and services, the Centre was named after the brave women of the squatter town of Crossroads, South Africa, who refused to be moved, keeping alive the struggle against apartheid through the hardest times. Fundraising is underway to complete refurbishment of a larger Centre nearby by end January 2012. Â This event marks eight years of Ms Adshead’s collaboration with the Centre.


Two theatre shorts:
Young East Enders respond to the English riots with their own rhyme and rap
Students of the City Lit respond to the inquiry into the English riots by the Guardian and the LSE (made in 5 hours as a Mama Quilla PLAY IN A DAY)


A specially commissioned 5-minute film presents notes from the global protests as observed by a child.


Video live streaming from St Paul’s brings us up to date on Occupy London.

9:00PM – A SILENCE (working title)

An original, short, wordless live art piece made by Mark Civil will explore enforced silence.


This will be the performance of the piece made in the Chorus Workshop earlier in the evening.

9:06PM – untitled when going to press, a short theatre poem

Written by Kay Adshead, performed by award-winning actress, Sarah Niles, directed by Kully Thiarai.

“Sarah Niles gives an amazing performance”
– The Stage on Kay Adshead’s THE BOGUS WOMAN

“You have to believe that like everything else you grow and you can nurture things. In the end I suppose for me theatre is a place, a gathering, where we come together to celebrate, to debate, to argue, to reveal…” – Kully Thiarai, interviewed in “Staging New Britain”

“Dialogues are happening now between telly executives and writers to create a ‘sexy’ TV series about the English riots, and exploring those dialogues will quite possibly be Mama Quilla’s next piece”
– Kay Adshead

During the events, film maker Lise Marker will be shooting footage to create a new short film exploring protest.

For more details, call Box Office on 0844 482 8008


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