East Storytelling at this year’s Boishakhi Mela

We’re excited to be part of this annual festival: it’s real flagship event in the East London calendar. The “East Three” –  Shamim, Sef and Paul, who’ve been leading our East storytelling project – will be sharing stories and songs in the Family and Arts Zone, doing three 25 min performances between 12 and 6:30.

There’s lots more information on the Mela here. Come along – it’s going to be a great day!

Here’s Shamim, Sef and Paul at another festival, a couple of years ago.

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Mobile Incitement is going to Latitude!

You can find us at the Community Centre in the Faraway Forest

We’re delighted to announce that we’re part of the Latitude Festival line up with our gig-theatre piece Gerrard Winstanley’s Mobile Incitement Unit, made with The Black Smock Band, produced by Rua Arts, developed at Ovalhouse & Queen Mary University of London.

Ye noble Diggers all, stand up now!

 

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Festival of Communities: The Photos

We’ve just seen some lovely photos from Day Two of the Festival of Communities at Queen Mary… Here’s one:

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And you can see the rest here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/festivalofcommunities/albums/72157694312686732/page2

 

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Mobile Incitement in Poplar – it’s tomorrow!

Yes, it’s tomorrow, May 6th at the lovely Poplar Union! For best results (and free entry) come to the tea party first, hang out with the team, and maybe create some new material for the show. But of course you can just come to the show too.

The E5 Roasthouse cafe, which is part of the venue, is great by the way. And naturally there’ll be time for a spot of luncheon between the workshop and the show.

“OK”, you say, “that all sounds lovely but, in this uncertain and ever-changing world, I need facts and detail.” Well, here you go:

More info and booking (no need to book for the tea party)

How to get to the venue (it’s easy)

Facebook event (because nothing is real unless it’s on Facebook, right?)

The E5 Roasthouse (great food and drink and supporting refugees)

Unsure about about what you’re letting yourself in for? Read about how we work with our audiences.

And if you have any more questions, you can of course just ask!

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Let’s talk about participation

Our artistic director, Paul, has missed shows he really wanted to see because the threat of audience participation made him so anxious. And yet we make participatory theatre. Is this hypocrisy?

A Place at the Table, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, London

Our work isn’t about getting people to do things. It’s even less about picking on people or demanding volunteers. It’s about creating an environment in which people can find their own degree of involvement as equals.

Our breakthrough in this regard was A Place at the Table (pictured during a performance at Amnesty International, London). This is the piece we made about the 1993 coup in Burundi and its aftermath. All the audience sat round a huge table alongside the actors. Everyone was very ‘present’, and the experience was very immediate, but essentially the audience were passive observers until what appeared to be the end. At this point, food was brought and the actors joined the audience for a causal chat. People started talking to their neighbours or just quietly enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. This was actually the second half of the show; and its resolution. After hearing testimonies of appalling violence and heroism, and struggling through the complicated politics and history of Central Africa, a group of strangers found themselves sitting together, sharing food and talking. Some of them talked about how to escape the cycle of violence in Burundi, some just talked about their journey in. Most nights they kept talking till we had to ask them to leave!

Naomi Grossett in A Place at the Table, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, London

Gerrard Winstanley’s True and Righteous Mobile Incitement Unit is the same principle, but structured the other way around. We ask you to come to a tea party ahead of the show. (There’s also a shortened version for when there’s no time for a whole pre-show tea party). Here you can tell us about your experiences of protest, get us up to speed on local issues, make a placard, collaborate on protest song lyrics… or not.  You can also take advantage of the free tea without doing a thing! Similarly, during the performance itself you can sing along. Or not. You can even have a little dance. Or not. You can have another cup of tea. Or not. The point is, we’re asking you to join us as an equal, with full autonomy, and be part of making the show afresh each time. Or not. It’s up to you. you can just watch.

 

Grace Nyandoro in A Place at the Table, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, London

It’s the complete opposite of old-fashioned participation, really. And you can test this for yourself. We’ll be performing Gerrard Winstanley’s True and Righteous Mobile Incitement Unit this Sunday, 6th May, at Poplar Union. Details are here.

 

 

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Stand up now, Diggers all!

After an amazing few months, with a commission from Ovalhouse, followed by performances at Brixton City Festival, and then a residency at Queen Mary uni to develop ways to work with locals to create a bespoke version of the show in each place we visit, here we are, running the whole thing, tea party and all, for the public, for the first time, on our home ground of Tower Hamlets.

And breathe.

Frankly, we couldn’t be more excited.

Booking and info here: https://poplarunion.com/event/gerrard-winstanleys-true-and-righteous-mobile-incitement/

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2094865110749439/

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Introducing our Trustees…

We’re privileged to be guided by four amazing people who make up our board, and it’s probably time to introduce them!

From left to right: Mark Bixter, Chris White (chair), Alia Alzougbi and Catrin John.

Mark has worked in senior leadership in the charity sector for the past 5 years. He is also a celebrant and life coach. Chris is a theatre director and practitioner working across the UK and internationally. Alia’s a storyteller, performer and educator, as well as Head of HEC Global Learning Centre. Catrin has worked in a number of roles for major venues, including most recently Commercial Director at the Lyric Hammersmith and Marketing Director at the Old Vic.

Big thanks to these good people from all the rest of the Daedalus family!

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Mobile Incitement: back in Tower Hamlets in May

We’re so excited to bring our Mobile Incitement project, made with The Black Smock Band, to the wonderful Poplar Union in May. Fresh from test-running our ideas with the support of Queen Mary uni, we’re looking forward to hearing local stories of protest and dissent in Tower Hamlets and sharing a bespoke version of the performance.

Key links:

☞ Facebook event here

☞ Info/booking on the Poplar Union website here

 

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Thanks, QMUL!

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Our official Mobile Incitement residency at Queen Mary uni is over, though we’ll be working with Ali Campbell and some of his students again after Easter as we share the work at Poplar Union and possibly also back on campus. … Continue reading

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Mobile Incitement in Tower Hamlets!

Following our residency at Queen Mary University of London, we’ll be sharing our Tower-Hamlets-specific version of Gerrard Winstanley’s True and Righteous Mobile Incitement Unit both on campus (22nd March) and at Poplar Union (6th May), a great new venue in the borough.

Supported by Queen Mary and produced in partnership with Rua Arts, Mobile Incitement brings together songs and texts from 600 years of English rebelliousness, along with new material from the band, new writing by Alex Swift and the cast, material from East London residents, and the Mobile Incitement Unit itself – a portable installation by Andrew Bannister.

This is part of an ongoing project, initially a commission from Ovalhouse, in which we and The Black Smock Band join forces with local people (and of course the C17th radical Gerrard Winstanley) to create a series of uniquely local gig-theatre performances, retelling England’s neglected history of protest and dissent, and, in each place we visit, asking what it all means to people today.

We’ve been working at Queen Mary with theatre-maker Ali Campbell and some of his students to develop democratic, open ways to shape the piece so it reflects their concerns of local people, and their sense of history, as well giving us a chance to hear their stories. Since we imagine there can be no revolution without tea – at least not in England – we’re doing this through a series of tea parties. (Big thanks to Magic Me for helping us connect with people in the Tower Hamlets area!) If you’re coming to the Poplar Union performance, we’d like to invite you to come to the last of the current series of parties and share your thoughts on East London life, along with optional placard-making and protest-song writing.

22nd March, 3pm at Arts One, on Queen Mary’s Mile End campus. There’s a Facebook event here. It’s free but you need to reserve your place in advance via Ticketsource here

6th May, at Poplar Union. Info and booking here. There’s a tea party at 1pm and a performance at 3pm. There’s a small fee for the performance, but it’s free if you come for the tea party and help us create a bespoke, local version of the performance. There’s also a Facebook event here.

We hope to see you there! We’re especially excited to be doing this piece in our home borough of Tower Hamlets, surely one of the most rebellious and dissenting areas of the country. It’s going to be special!

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