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Theatre Review: Rebels with causes worthy of celebration

Playful Acts Of Rebellion Harrogate Theatre/Touring 3/5

Inspired by the campaigns of Pussy Riot and Malala Yousafzai, the three members of The Gramophones theatre company resolved to take a stand for their beliefs.

Playful Acts Of Rebellion follows their journey from disinterested armchair anarchists to committed campaigners against sexism, capitalism and food wastage. Along the way they address wider issues of apathy, how militant someone should be for a cause and what changes an individual can effect.

A combination of lecture, performance and documentary, it features video footage, real-time projections and audio recordings to illustrate Gramophones’ tale. If at times if feels like they’re out of their political and campaigning depth then their sweet and earnest sincerity is in itself motivational.

There’s also no denying that their gentle and humorous approach to protest has seen them make genuine differences. Their achievements are documented throughout the show with video footage of Kristy Guest protesting with a giant foam whale, photos of cats that Hannah Stone has fostered for women fleeing from domestic abuse and the distribution of bread loaves that Ria Ashcroft has obtained by “skipping.”

Such humble activism helps to inspire the audience to take a stand for their own beliefs. It’s a journey that’s helped along the way by people being invited to complete a “what would you stand up for?” form when they enter the theatre and later to sign a petition against the Sun’s Page 3.

This is the first step towards individual and political change, runs the implicit message, and now it’s time to fight for personal causes with playful acts of rebellion like these.

Tours until May 3, details: www.gramophonestheatre.com.

SUSAN DARLINGTON

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