Drama workshops to create change in neighbourhoods

A previous workshop with communities from Hartcliffe and Knowle

A series of free drama workshops are taking place in Knowle West – to help residents make changes in their neighbourhood and celebrate the things they like.

The weekly workshops are starting at the 600 Club in Bristol Community Links on Mondays from 24 February – leading to a performance at the end of April.

They will also run in Lawrence Weston and it is hoped the two communities will come together to share their performances, food and stories.

The group is open to anyone in the area and has been set up by Bristol City Council to use Forum Theatre as a way to start conversations about living in these areas.

The sessions are being run by Many Minds, a mental health and performance charity and Breathing Fire, a black women’s playback group.

Artistic Director of Many Minds, Viki Brown expains: “Over the course of the project we will explore the issues and celebrate positive stories about  in a fun and accessible way…

“Together we are dedicated to creating an accessible, welcoming, safe, friendly and most importantly fun workshop environment!”

Forum Theatre was discovered in Brazil and developed by Augusto Boal and is often used as a tool for social action.

Viki explains: “We will be using this model in Knowle West. We will form a small story based on the real-life experiences of people who have attended the workshops. 

“The audience will then have the opportunity to become the main character, and change that characters life for the better. This style of performance gives people the opportunity to practice making change and then carry this out of the theatre and into their daily lives…”

“It is also important to get the stories of local people heard. We will have council representatives, policy makers and people from key services present to hear people’s stories and understand how they could make decisions that improve the lives of the people of that area…”

The free workshops are taking place on Mondays from 2-4pm at the 600 Club, Bristol Community Links in Langhill Avenue. They will run from 24 February to 11 May. No experience necessary and al welcome. For more details contact Viki on 07732 291 248 or viki@many-minds.org