Working class culture for a change!

Banner Theatre

This workshop took place on Friday 16th February 2024 at 6-8 pm via Zoom. Video to follow.

This workshop focuses on working class culture in struggle. It will touch on Banner’s roots in the political theatre movements of the past and explore main principles of the company’s working methods. In particular, it will focus on Banner’s longstanding commitment to using the stories and experiences of the many working people they interview when creating new songs, shows, or street theatre. It will also consider the efficacy of agitprop traditions to create campaigning and in-your-face troublemaking on the picket line, demo, online or in the local club. The presentation will include break-out groups that examine what Banner mean by working class culture and generate discussion on what makes effective political art in our communities.

About Banner Theatre

Founded in 1973, Banner Theatre creates powerful, innovative, issue-based multimedia theatre productions, which tour to community and trade union audiences, predominantly in non-theatre/non-arts venues, typically reaching over 10,000 people annually.

They have a successful track record of developing collaborative documentary theatre, combining video interviews and original live music and song with film, and animation, in a form they call the ‘video-ballad’, which stages the real-life experiences of disadvantaged groups and communities in struggle.

What makes the company unique is, first and foremost, its use of ‘actuality’ – ordinary people’s words captured by camera, that constitute the source material of all their shows.

Another essential core element of their work is the use of ‘popular education’ techniques (pioneered by Paulo Freire in the 1960s), which informs both the processes of creating new productions, and also in the workshops and discussions that they provide as part of their educational strategy.

Finally, Banner is one of very few theatre companies prioritising working-class audiences and working with trade unions. Their aim is to support the struggles of the working class and increase awareness of, and generate action around, key social and political issues and trends.

About the facilitator

The workshop will be led by Dave Rogers, Artistic Director and founder member of Banner, with 50 years of experience with the company. Dave is a singer, musician, performer and writer for the group.