“I’ve never seen anything like it! It is such an interesting and dynamic way to explore issues. I really liked how the audience interacted with and influenced the play.”
While politicians debate, a Leith community theatre invites local people to explore what positive change means and how we can make it happen. Change is the name of a unique theatre project which opens with a first performance at Fort Community Wing on Thursday 29 April at 7 pm.
With great timing, the first night of the ACTive Inquiry drama just happens to coincide with the third and final debate of the three leaders competing to win the general election. But the real life drama unfolding at Swietlica, the Polish drop-in club, could hardly be more different than the carefully controlled event taking place in front of the television cameras. [see also Be the Change]
In the Fort Community Wing the audience will be positively encouraged to take part as actors introduce the story of Sophie, a cleaner at a bank, who is inspired to use her new-found literacy skills to make her voice heard. Will her enthusiasm be enough to help her overcome the challenges she runs into…?
The story line was developed in a drama workshop, drawing on real concerns of real people from Leith. But the outcome will depend on the audience and – unlike voters in the election – in a Forum Theatre production no-one opts out.
Gavin Crichton, director of ACTive Inquiry, plays the role of the Joker interrupting the story and inviting the audience to take an active part in changing the course of events. If you are the kind of person who never sits in the front row, fear not – as anyone who saw ACTive Inquiry making its debut in Leith Festival last year will know – Gavin has a wonderfully disarming way of getting people to take part.
Or as a member of the audience who saw the first production, Space, puts it: “I’ve never seen anything like it! It is such an interesting and dynamic way to explore issues. I really liked how the audience interacted with and influenced the play.”
Forum Theatre combines theatre and debate enabling the audience to have a say in how the Play develops. Active Inquiry a Leith-based theatre company promotes increased participation in the arts as a catalyst for active involvement in society. To quote the flyer for the series of performances deliberately coinciding with the election campaign (and a day or two after the results come in):
“How can we play an active part in positive social change, what stops change happening, and can we do more to change things than just voting every 5 years?”
Thursday 29 April 7pm – Fort Community Wing, North Fort Street, Leith EH6
Wednesday 5 May 7pm – Duncan Place Resource Centre, 4 Duncan Place, Leith
[Thursday 6 May – still to be confirmed – Out of the Blue, Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street, Leith]
Saturday 8 May 4pm – The Lighthouse, 20-22 West Harbour Road, Granton, EH5
(plus a private performance at NEECAG (North East Edinburgh Care Action Group) Older People’s Forum, at a sheltered housing complex).