It’s official – if a little scary – we’re in the Festival of Politics along with Annie Lennox, Mark Thomas and John Prescott. Admittedly we’re not all on the same platform at the same time. But the News Group are delighted to be in the fantastic programme of events taking place at the Scottish Parliament in August.
So that’s us on Day 5 at 10.30 am in the Education Centre on Saturday 21 August. News Group is a drama workshop – created by ACTive Inquiry in partnership with Leith Open Space – using drama techniques to dig below the surface of current issues.
It’s free and no acting experience is necessary. You just need to be willing to have a go. Instead of ranting at the telly, as Gavin Crichton artistic director of ACTive Inquiry puts it, this is an opportunity to explore how we can become active participants rather than passive consumers of non-stop news.
The News Group began last November and since then monthly workshops in Pilmeny Youth Centre have explored stories such as the war in Afghanistan, the Haiti earthquake, the BP oil disaster and the UK budget cuts. And who knows what the headlines will be during the third week in August.
ACTive Inquiry invited Leith Open Space to take part because there is a strong link between the community activism which is an essential element of their work and the community engagement of the Open Space discussion process. Both encourage people to take positive action and that fits beautifully with this year’s Festival of Politics theme ‘Changing Politics’ ( if you are familiar with the work of ACTive Inquiry you will know that change has been very much part of the discussion in this year’s productions).
There is a special buzz around this year’s Festival of Politics with 47 events in the five day programme covering some of the most challenging issues of the moment. And in the Scottish Parliament too which gives a nice twist to discussion about the politics of ageing, football, food, human rights, climate change and much, much more.
Many of the events are free and the top price for tickets is only £6 if you book to see one of the stars – Annie Lennox talking about the Sing campaign fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa, Mark Thomas on public involvement in politics or John Prescott on a life in politics.