You can read 19 more articles this month
The Bradford Club
WOMEN from across the world have created social change throughout history, from suffragettes setting fire to pillar boxes to India's Gulabi Gang taking a stand against those who abuse women.
Common Wealth's Radical Acts celebrates such acts of civil disobedience, while reminding the audience that “radical” is a subjective word and that it’s within everyone’s power to take a stand.
The show is the culmination of three months of activism. Common Wealth has already staged a mass wedding, where 38 women married themselves, performed Food, Glorious Food on a train to protest against the benefit cap and initiated the #peaceophobia campaign to challenge Islamophobia.
Conceived and developed in partnership with local women and political activists, Radical Acts was staged at the end of last week to a mostly female audience in an exclusive Victorian gentleman’s club. The takeover of a traditional male space is a small act of rebellion in itself, as is the decision to turn it into an egalitarian dining area.
Seated around tables, the audience and actors share onion bhajis and names. The food breaks down barriers between strangers, but it’s also another act of rebellion — onions are used by protesters to protect against tear gas.
This blurring of communal warmth and activity is reflected in the paintings on the wall being removed to reveal written acts of rebellion and a giant tablecloth is pulled over the heads of the audience to create a tent, the intimacy inspiring personal revelations and song.
By the time the 11-strong cast perform a karaoke version of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, it feels like the most natural thing in the world to join in — the fact that none are natural vocalists or dancers only enhances the sense that this is a light-hearted girls’ night out.
Nonetheless, the fun underscores two important scenes which encourage the audience to reveal their own radical acts — from reading a feminist poem in public to leaving a violent partner — and what acts they want to make in the future (“get arrested!”).
This encourages individuals to consider their own worth and power to create change, both within themselves and on a community or global scale.
As the actors conclude by speaking their names, their deeds are elevated to the ranks of Rosa Parks and Ahed Tamimi. In so doing they also honour the radical daily acts performed by the audience.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.