Rebecca Hillman

Rebecca Hillman

Dr. Hillman is a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter.

Banner Theatre: Working-class culture for a change!
Saturday, 03 February 2024 10:47

Banner Theatre: Working-class culture for a change!

Published in Theatre

One of our country's longest running political theatre groups, Banner have dedicated their time over 50 years to trade union causes and working-class issues, and the power of working-class culture.

The workshop is called Banner Theatre: Working Class Culture for a change! It will take place on Zoom on 16/02/2024 at 6 pm – 8 pm GMT

This is the booking link:

All welcome, most especially trade unionists and other political activists.
This workshop will focus on working-class culture in struggle. It will touch on Banner's roots in the political theatre movements of the past and explore main principles of the company's working methods. In particular, it will focus on Banner's longstanding commitment to using the stories and experiences of the many working people they interview when creating new songs, shows, or street theatre. It will also consider the efficacy of agitprop traditions to create campaigning and in-your-face troublemaking on the picket line, demo, online or in the local club. The presentation will include break-out groups that examine what Banner mean by working-class culture and generate discussion on what makes effective political art in our communities.
The workshop will be led by Dave Rogers, Artistic Director and founder member of Banner, with 50 years of experience with the company. Dave is a singer, musician, performer and writer for the group.

About Banner Theatre

Founded in 1973, Banner Theatre creates powerful, innovative, issue-based multimedia theatre productions, which tour to community and trade union audiences, predominantly in non-theatre/non-arts venues, typically reaching over 10,000 people annually.

They have a successful track record of developing collaborative documentary theatre, combining video interviews and original live music and song with film, and animation, in a form they call the 'video-ballad', which stages the real-life experiences of disadvantaged groups and communities in struggle.

What makes the company unique is, first and foremost, its use of 'actuality' – ordinary people's words captured by camera, that constitute the source material of all their shows.

Another essential core element of their work is the use of 'popular education' techniques (pioneered by Paulo Freire in the 1960s), which informs both the processes of creating new productions, and also in the workshops and discussions that they provide as part of their educational strategy.

Finally, Banner is one of very few theatre companies prioritising working-class audiences and working with trade unions. Their aim is to support the struggles of the working class and increase awareness of, and generate action around, key social and political issues and trends.

This workshop is part of the Performing Resistance project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. SeeThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Together for a better world! Theatre of the Oppressed and the Landless Workers’ Movement:  
Saturday, 09 December 2023 09:34

Together for a better world! Theatre of the Oppressed and the Landless Workers’ Movement:  

Published in Theatre

I am currently leading a theatre project called Performing Resistance: the role of theatre and performance in 21st century workers’ movements. The aim is to create new links between artists and workers' movements in Brazil, India, North America, and the UK. Project workshops, and a website and archive (under construction) will deepen understanding of working-class culture and the role of performance in workers' movements today.

The next workshop in the Performing Resistance series is probably the most exciting, given the longstanding importance in the international labour movement of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), and their inspirational approach to political organising and cultural work, which has supported land occupations in Brazil since 1984.

On 12th December 6-8 pm Alan Leite, State Secretary of the MST in Marabá/Pará and Coordinator of Theatre Brigade - Patativa do Assaré, and Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner Helen Sarapeck, will deliver a workshop called: Theatre of the Oppressed and the Landless Workers’ Movement: Together for a better world!  

I’m hoping trade union activists across the UK will be keen to attend, so please do share far and wide in your networks. The event is likely to be delivered in Portuguese, but English translation will be given. Trade union activists are welcome to attend, free tickets to the event can be booked here