London riots revisited with East End show

East London artists have proved quick in responding to the August riots which rocked the capital by pulling together a live project showing in Bethnal Green.

With the east of the city, and Hackney in particular, suffering its fair share of the disorder during the summer troubles, Riot Acts brings together poetry, spoken word and theatrical performances from local talent.

It has been developed by Penned In The Margins, a publishing and live events company in Commercial Street, and the Rich Mix arts centre in Bethnal Green Road, where it shows on November 19.

Tom Chivers, Penned In The Margins’ director, explained the thinking behind the production.

He said: “We wanted to see what artists would come up with to respond to what happened.


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“And we wanted to be fast in responding to it because it’s so timely.

“I am interested in testing the boundaries between text, voice and theatre so I am hoping Riot Acts will be an opportunity to see a mix of work.”

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From 30 proposals, four pieces were selected which will be showcased as 15 minute performances.

Performance artist Greg McLaren, one of the talents behind the Stoke Newington International Airport venue, will lead the audience in A Score For The Riots.

Mr Chivers said: “It’s a very experimental piece about trying to ask the audience about their own role in the riots.

“Greg is interested in asking those questions.

“For example, if you segment the audience into four parts and ask one group to go and loot another, would they do it?”

Further thought-provoking entertainment will include stand-up poet Luke Wright combining the contemporary disturbances with the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 in Revolt, a tale of corruption at the top.

And Stratford artist Sophie Wooley has developed a monologue entitled Stratford City 2013, a confessional about a bickering couple caught up in riots in a giant shopping mall.

Theatre collectives The Hurly Burly and Circus Kinetica complete the line-up with Birdy, a modern take on the Icarus myth.

The show starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost �5 and can be purchased at www.richmix.org.uk.

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