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Arts Council tour with Partners Theatre Company October 5th – 15th 2015…performing ‘Standing Out’…

Partners in performanceBullying

Partners Theatre Company devised and performed a show about hate crime called ‘Standing Out’.  The show then toured schools particularly performing to audiences of Years 7 and 8, plus colleges and public venues in Swindon during the first two weeks of October, 2015, altogether there were 15 performances and two workshops.

The show examined bullying and hate crime experienced by some people with learning difficulties which drew on the personal experience of many of the participants.

They work-shopped a variety of situations and spoke to the Police about hate crime. Kerry Boorman the group’s Theatre Director/Writer took the ideas created in rehearsals and devised a performance piece that told the story of ‘Lottie’ who has a learning disability, is bullied and suffers hate crime at the hands of one bully and his ‘puppets’; people who follow him without questioning what this is doing to ‘Lottie’. The puppets were represented by masks on stands which the actors stood behind, creating an integral part of the staging. At the end of the story, Lottie threw herself under a car and was killed. However, one of the bullies was uncomfortable with this ending and stepped out of the fourth wall with Lottie to try to change things. The performance opened with a 20 minute mimed version of the play which required excellent skills in movement, memory and teamwork. The play ended with police being called to arrest the perpetrator of the Hate Crime. The bullying took place in a variety of ways, through the physical and through language, both in real time and on social media. The word ‘retard’ was used during the performance, purposefully as the police were clear that this kind of language is used in hate crime. This resolution was purposefully imperfect and as such was realistic. It suggested that people can change their stories by supporting and standing up for one another.

During the rehearsal period, the group performed at Swindon’s Big Hat Cabaret, an annual event that takes place at ‘Steam’ The Museum of the Great Western Railway. Their dress rehearsal was performed to Sixth Sense Theatre Company’s Youth Theatre. Sixth Sense Theatre for Young People is also based at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.