Does Politics have a place in theatre? Agitprop? Any?  Or are we all scared/bored of it? 

Convener(s): Josh Darcy 

Participants: Louisa Norman, Dan Coleman, Shelley Silas, Jane Edwards, Claire Fariington, Morven Macbeth, Oladipo Agboluaje, Steven Hoggett, Emma Bernard, Sharon Smith, Polly Moseley, Gemma Paintin, Katherine Maxwell-Cooke, Danny Browerman, James Stenhouse, Maddy Costa, Adeel Achtar, Kirsty Lothian, Mark Price, Leonie Dodd, Richard Kingdom, Darragh McKean, Hazel Maddocks, Vicky Ireland, David Rosenberg, Louisa Norman, Justin Audibert, Penny Dimond, the cat.


Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

  • Politics!  Apathy! Community!  Britain as wasteland!
  • “It’s all about Rage”  Vicky Ireland.
  • Politics is in the form.
  • “They didn’t just kill Ken Saro Wiwa because of his political plays” Oladipo Agboluaje
  • “Theatre is the wrong place for politics”
  • “I take exception to that, you’re completely wrong!”  Penelope Dimond.
  • “Don Carlos was the most political play I saw last year”
  • Caryl Churchill, David Hare, David Edgar.
  • The Madness of George W
  • “Community!  What is Community?”
  • “Audiences like to be asked what to think, not told what to think” – Shelley Silas
  • Watch Black Watch
  • Boal and the theatre of legislation
  • The way the DCMS has obliterated the Arts Council.
  • Chomsky “The manufacture of consent”
  • Verbatim theatre
  • “The most powerful tool is the metaphor”
  • Banksie and white bicycles.
  • Hey! Nicaragua.
  • Free speech leads to apathy and complacency.
  • It’s about the conversations afterwards.
  • Passion, argument, consensus, more argument, anger.


There may or may not be a place for politics in Theatre, but there’s certainly a place for it at Devoted and disgruntled.