Forum theatre is part of ‘theatre of the oppressed’, a practice which encourages people to recognise moments of oppression and find strategies for countering these oppressions. When we say oppression, we are including day-to-day oppressions such as family pressures, isolation, and stigma, as well as more global political oppressions.
In October and November 2014 47/49 ran a series of workshops in forum theatre, in partnership with the Dragon Cafe. The workshops gave participants a chance to talk with peers about issues and day-to-day oppressions that affect them and consider (and act out) ways in which they can tackle these oppressions. The workshops were tailored specifically to people who have experience of mental health issues. These workshops provided an introduction to forum theatre, and the group is continuing to work together to produce a performance. The workshops were offered free of charge and participants also received a complimentary ticket to the performance of Swines by Bad Host Theatre later that day.
The workshop leaders were trained by Adrian Jackson from Cardboard Citizens, who is regarded as the leading practitioner of Forum Theatre in the UK.