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Love on the Dole: Politics and the Return of Community Theatre

Sarah Weston in conversation with Dr Rebecca Hillman

A Department of Drama research event
Date19 October 2016
Time16:30
PlaceAlexander Building TS2

In July 2016 Salford Community Theatre Project staged a promenade adaptation of Walter Greenwood’s novel Love on the Dole. The novel, set in 1930s Salford, depicts the effects of poverty, unemployment and exploitation on the lives of ordinary Salfordians, culminating in the National Unemployed Workers Movement’s demonstration of 1931, now known as the Battle of Bexley Square. This talk will discuss the politics of the community play, and how this form allows both artists and community members, through the narratives of the past, to draw out the political tensions of the present. Following the development of ‘Applied Theatre’ as a form, and the turn away from the explicitly political community theatre of the 60s-80s, Weston will address how the community play offers a return to political theatre making, without abandoning some of the more celebratory and empowering aspects of current non-political applied practice. Sarah Weston is a theatre practitioner and playwright specializing in devised and community theatre. She is currently completing her doctoral studies through an examination of the relationship between performance and political voice for young people, both to what extend political voice is a performative act, as well as looking at the political efficacy of theatre practice regarding voice.

In July 2016 Salford Community Theatre Project staged a promenade adaptation of Walter Greenwood’s novel Love on the Dole. The novel, set in 1930s Salford, depicts the effects of poverty, unemployment and exploitation on the lives of ordinary Salfordians, culminating in the National Unemployed Workers Movement’s demonstration of 1931, now known as the Battle of Bexley Square. This talk will discuss the politics of the community play, and how this form allows both artists and community members, through the narratives of the past, to draw out the political tensions of the present.


ProviderDepartment of Drama

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