(c) Banner Theatre

Free Cinema School Salon: A Biased History of Political Theatre


with Frances Rifkin and Dave Rogers

Saturday 25 February 2012, 5-7pm
Centre for Possible Studies
21 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HR


In residence at the Centre for Possible Studies are theatre director Frances Rifkin, members of no.w.here collective, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler in collaboration with the Migrant Resource Centre and Implicated Theatre, exploring the relationship between political speech and action through a series of experimental theatre workshops.

This Free Cinema School Salon, Frances Rifkin (Utopia Arts) and Dave Rogers (Banner Theatre) will be visiting histories of political theatre in the UK.

See more information here:

Banner Theatre: http://www.bannertheatre.co.uk

Frances Rifkin, artistic director of Utopia Arts is a cultural worker and director in Political and Community theatre. In the 1970s she was director of Recreation Ground Theatre Company and in the 1980s she was director of Banner Theatre, Birmingham and participated as a theatre activist in the anti-fascist movements, disputes and strikes of the time. She trained extensively with Augusto Boal in the early 1990s and worked as a workshop leader. Between 1992 and 1997, she was lecturer in Community and workshop theatre in Theatre Studies at Warwick and Lancaster Universities.

Dave Rogers, artistic director of Banner Theatre, was a founder member of Banner in 1973. He has written many of the company’s songs and written or co-written several shows, including Free for All(1999/2000), Black and White in the Red (2000/2), Migrant Voices (2002/3), Wild Geese (2005/6) and “They get free mobiles…don’t they?” (2007/8). Dave, whose musical roots are in the English folk revival of the 1960s/1970s, has recorded many of Banner’s songs.

More on Direct Speech Acts


Initiated as part Karen Mirza and Brad Butler’s residency with the Edgware Road Project, Direct Speech Acts has developed into nine months of intensive theatre workshops, performances and research at the Centre for Possible Studies. Led by theatre director Frances Rifkin, the experimental workshops explore the relationships between political speech and action, the self and the collective, voice and silence. The group involved in the project has come together through the close working relationship of the Centre for Possible Studies and the Migrant Resource Centre.

The theoretical basis for this practice is the work of the Brazilian director Augusto Boal (1931-2009). Boal’s conception of the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ explicitly challenges the divisions between active and passive states or subjects. In his work, Boal argues that we are all spect-actors – spectators and actors who shape and reflect on the world around us. Influenced by thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and the pedagogue Paolo Freire, Boal travelled internationally to explore the situations of the oprimido – the oppressed – who, Boal stresses, should not refer to the condition of being defeated, being victims, but of a struggle against oppression.

At the Centre for Possible Studies, these workshops have led onto the development of a theatre collective, titled ‘Implicated Theatre’, as well as a growing archive of writing, still and moving images, and performances in community spaces such as the Migrant Resource Centre. Implicated Theatre have collectively created an ethical stage – a shared space to explore the ghosts of history and politics. Initially focused on the personal, Implicated Theatre have developed relationships and techniques which support investigations into the grand narratives that shape its participants lives.

Members of Implicated Theatre include director Frances Rifkin with Carlo Bellanova, Monika Burzykowska, Brad Butler, Simin Cox, Janna Graham, Karem Ibrahim, Yemane Kassa, Amal Khalaf, Grace Kyne-Lilley, Tatsiana Lizahle, Elizabeth Mahlanze, Laura Marziale, Karen Mirza, Liudmila Novikova, Luca Pieri, Qing Ren, Edelquinn Neri Santiago, Enrico Sibour and Rafael Zamuriano

Coming up

On the Edgware Road
6 – 28 March 2012


On the Edgware Road makes public three years of research generated by the Serpentine’s Edgware Road Project. The exhibition includes installations, films and performances, both at the Serpentine Gallery and at the Centre for Possible Studies, the Project’s home.