Quiet Rebels – Autumn 2022 Tour

Written and directed by Hassan Mahamdallie and Julie McNamara

A Dervish Productions and Vital Xposure Co-Production, developed in partnership with Soul City Arts, The Albany, Hackney Empire and Deaf Rave, supported by Belgrade Theatre.

Powerful storytelling about white working-class women who crossed the colour line to marry men of the Windrush generation.

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Beyond the tour

Forgotten stories of white working-class women who crossed the colour line to marry men of the Windrush generation. They defied race and class prejudice and social stigma directed against them and their families. A quietly rebellious generation of women who are part of the foundations of today’s multi-cultural communities.

Set in a dystopian England, Detective Shade investigates Aileen Burnett’s murder – a white woman who married a Black man. As a convicted race-traitor with four children, she had served time for ‘miscegenation’.

To solve the crime Shade travels the Multi-resistance’s Underground network to the Northern Free Zone where in facing her past, everything she thought she knew about herself and her world is challenged.

Film, movement, soundscapes with integrated creative access provide a powerful dramatisation of stories brought to life by Julie McNamara (The Knitting Circle) and Hassan Mahamdallie (The Crows Plucked Your Sinews) and a team of creative talent.

‘Powerfully innovative and fiercely political, Quiet Rebels unsettles and challenges the audience to ask important questions about the world we live in.’

Theatre Review on SocialistWorker. Read the full review.

Quiet Rebels provokes a much-needed conversation about the political systems that impact on us and determine the values our society aligns itself with. Indeed, the real ‘quiet rebels’ of the play’s title were women, whose love changed society throughout the chaotic political landscape of the 1960s. This demands the question: who are the rebels for today’s world?’

Colin Hambrook, Editor at Disability Arts Online. Read the full review.

Quiet Rebels Trailer: created / edited by Mohammed Ali, with footage and visuals by Stephen Rudder. Images used at 00:41mins (hand stocking leg) and 00:49– 00:53mins (man in flames; woman underwater; water) are credited to Mike Hoolboom.

Access
Access statement

Creative integration of access elements on stage, within the dystopian world play: the Quiet Rebels creative team is experimenting with a new approach to integrating access into the design of the production, using a vibrant, percussive soundscape and rich visual narrative that incorporates captions, British Sign Language and audio description to sew access into the fabric of the show.

Audio flyer
Audio introduction to the play, set and characters
Tour dates
September 2022

Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham

Tuesday 20th – Wednesday 21st

Post show discussion: Tuesday 20th

Rich Mix, London

Friday 30th

October 2022

Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

Wednesday 5th

The Lowry, Salford

Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th

Post show discussion: Friday 7th

Northern Stage, Newcastle

Wednesday 12th – Thursday 13th

Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford 

Friday 14th – Saturday 15th

Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton

Wednesday 19th

The Rose Theatre, Ormskirk

Thursday 20th

THIS PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN CANCELLED BY THE VENUE DUE TO UNFORSEEN MAINTENANCE ISSUES (Updated: 17.10.2022)

Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield

Friday 28th

November 2022

The Albany, London

Wednesday 9th – Friday 11th

Touch Tour: Friday 11th

Audience responses

The interweaving of live acting with screen and also written words, allowed for a more immersive experience and impact.

Loved the mix of audio and visual. The storyline was very interesting and thought provoking.

The performers were amazing and brought different types of energy to the show.

I was worried that my daughter’s friend who is mixed race would have been disturbed by some of the topics raised, but she was absolutely fine. They both now are curious to learn about Enoch Powell and what he did (wrong).

I thought this was incredible! Really really innovative and thoughtful. The sign language reader was amazing.

Awesome think it really worked, better than having a rubbish projection to the side of the stage for BSL.

Thought provoking, accessibility for all.

Unexpected, an intriguing tale, strong performances.

Interesting use of film and live action.

Superb performance, meaty subject matter that was expertly and sensitively dramatised.

It reminded me of 1980’s agitprop theatre and was rather bleak but intelligently written.

A very visceral performance that won’t soon be forgotten.

We loved the old lady Multi-Resistance character.

Loved the show.

Different, diverse and topical.

I especially enjoyed the footage of the women telling their own stories at the beginning of the play.

Excellent concept.

This production certainly provokes a deep conversation that explores some of the history of social policy in Britain around race.

Frightening and thought provoking.

Wonderfully accessible.

Quiet Rebels is both inspiring and unsettling, most of alt is thought-provoking.

Everyone should be able to enjoy theatre, but [captions] really did fit with the sci-fi theme.

I love the title. It states a great truth about the real makers of history.

It reminded me of what I knew, but had forgotten.

A celebration of those who choose to resist, whatever the cost.

I found the variety of techniques used were interesting and engaging.

It was also quite an achievement for such a small cast to create so many characters.

Reviews

Quiet Rebels, in both form and content, is a production as daring and edgy as it is courageous and challenging.

The Quiet Rebels production team successfully create a new inclusive approach. They use minimal set design, props, percussive soundscape and a rich visual narrative that incorporates captions, BSL and audio description. It does not simply tell a story but makes the audience think.

Powerfully innovative and fiercely political, Quiet Rebels unsettles and challenges the audience to ask important questions about the world we live in. It is a stark warning and a chilling reminder of a not too distant past.

Contentious, as all good political art should be, it fits well into the tradition of anti-fascist art developed by Brecht, Grosz and Heartfield. As Brecht said, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”

Christine Lewis, Socialist Worker. Read the full review.

A lot of thought has been given to access within the presentation of the play. Much of the dialogue contains elements of description held within the narrative to give clues about the various characters as they move around the stage. Much of the action is BSL interpreted through videography, projected onto the monolithic stage set. In a spirit of experimentation, creative captions are used thoughtfully, in instances where the signer is not present. There was also an audio flyer provided before the performance giving a clear overview of the action and characters

Quiet Rebels is a multi-dimensional piece of work, highlighting the social injustices endemic within our society. The truly frightening thing is that nothing iterated by the character Johnstone has not been expressed by a British politician. Furthermore, Quiet Rebels provokes a much-needed conversation about the political systems that impact on us and determine the values our society aligns itself with. Indeed, the real ‘quiet rebels’ of the play’s title were women, whose love changed society throughout the chaotic political landscape of the 1960s. This demands the question: who are the rebels for today’s world?

Colin Hambrook, Disability Arts Online, Read the full review.

Saw Quiet Rebels recently and thoroughly recommend! Themes chime with the research and teaching interests in Social Sciences courses. Powerful writing blending lived experience and fiction in exploration of systemic racism!

Prof. Geraldine Brady, Nottingham Trent University

Excellent concept, this production certainly provokes a deep conversation that explores some of the history of social policy in Britain around race.

This is a piece of history, a great story that needs to be told.
Suave Shaun

This play is truly a masterpiece, how the story is written and directed was amazing. Very accessible, I was included in everything, I didn’t miss out at all via the Sign interpretation on the screen that translated what been said via the actor and then the caption on the wall it was all crystal clear. From the start to the end this was amazing and I understood everything. This is a 10/10 production and the director is at his A Game.

MC Geezer, Deaf Rave

Within the Orwellian frame, there was always something unexpected occurring, including the mobile set, the dramatic lighting/video which played its part in pushing the plot forward, and an excellent and varied approach to access: Clare was a storyteller for all, while for me as a hearing audience member, the captions added to the sense of claustrophobia – of being surveilled, notes being taken …

Naomi Foyle,  Poet / Dramatist

The play was so many things at once – a tribute to the white working class women, including Hassan’s own Mum, whose relationships with black men often led to them being ostracised in their communities, to look at what can happen to a society where racism is allowed to dominate and also a celebration of those who choose to resist, whatever the cost.

Every detail is made to count, from the names of the housing blocks to the fascist salute of the regime’s enforcers, to bring home the sense of living under a racist totalitarian regime. What is chilling is that there are so many elements of this fictional dystopia that touch on our lived reality, not only the name-check of Rwanda that reminds the audience that we live under a regime that locks up and deports asylum seekers and immigrants.

Quiet Rebels is both inspiring and unsettling, most of all is thought-provoking.

Judith Orr

Quiet Rebels is a brilliant ensemble production, ensemble playing at its best….The post show discussion in Nottingham was wonderful that night..it could have free flowed for another hour- the writers decision was to be provocative… The audience felt they owned the story and responses from the audience were both challenging and fiercely affirmative.

Quiet Rebels, deep respect for their own mothers and the way they stood their ground in the face of bigotry and racism….I think Nottingham is special in this regard…. Women’s history in Nottingham is a potent…long way to go to recover stories, but women are doing it …

Will keep thinking…. that’s what the piece did, it stirred you up, and made you feel right uncomfortable and got you thinking and talking!!!! What more could theatre wish for????

Tanya Myers, Actor and Stephen Lowe, Director

Photos
Rehearsal photos
Production photos
Programme
Interview with Writers/Directors

Hassan Mahamdallie (left) and Julie McNamara (right), Writers / Directors of Quiet Rebels.

Hassan Mahamdallie and Julie McNamara, Writers / Directors of Quiet Rebels, discuss the history behind the play, their research into people’s stories across the country that have shaped our multi-cultural communities and the resonance of those stories with present day events.

Read the full interview, first published by Disability Arts Online

Credits
Writers / Directors

Hassan Mahamdallie and Julie McNamara

Cast

Lottie Bell  (Aileen Burnett / Doctor Emmett)

Joe Conteh (Michael A / Jamal)

Deni Francis (Detective Shade)

Fiona Whitelaw (Mary Khan / Tracey / Betty Grogan)

Wayne ‘Pickles’ Norman (Johnstone)

Hassan Mahamdallie (Jed Barking)

Luca Francis-Claxton (Young Shahada)
Creative team

Simon Kenny, Designer

Gabriel Finn, Lighting Designer

Stephen Rudder, Filmmaker / Visuals

Mohammed Ali, Digital Artist

Jeanefer Jean – Charles, Movement Director

Awate Abdalla, Composer / Sound Designer

Troi Lee, Deaf Rave

Paul Burgess, Creative Captions Designer

Technical Team

Crin Claxton, Production Manager

Matthew Green, Relighting / Technical Stage Manager

Farideh Didehvar, Stage Manager (until September 2022)

Bethany Fulcher, Stage Management Placement (from October 2022). Thanks to Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Associates

Isobel Hawson, Consultant Producer

Pam Kehoe, PR / Marketing Consultant

Bid Mosaku, Audience Development Consultant

Ali Clarke, Audio Flyer / Show Audio Introduction Track

Daryl Jackson, BSL Consultant

Clare Edwards, BSL Interpreter

Rehan Jamil, Filmmaker / Photographer

Teresa Garratty, Filmmaker / Editor

Becky Bailey, Photographer

Acknowledgements
Partners

A Vital Xposure and Dervish Productions co-production.

Developed and delivered with partners Soul City Arts, the Albany, Hackney Empire, Deaf Rave and Jane Morgan Associates, supported by Belgrade Theatre.

The words 'Dervish Production' in black capital letters against white.Black letters against white background read Soul City Arts. On the right, a city skyline in black.Red capital letters on white background read 'Deaf Rave'. White letters enclosed in a red circle. The letters are lower case and read 'j', 'm', 'a'.White letters on red background read 'Belgrade Theatre Coventry'The capital letter A appears in black against white background. The letter’s left line is formed the words 'the Albany' shown vertically, from bottom to top. Black and white logo of Hackney Empire. Top: capital letter H in black, extends to the right into a black square where the capital letter E is enclosed in white. Bottom: words Hackney Empire written in block capital letters.

Supporters

Quiet Rebels is supported by Arts Council England, Garrick Charitable Trust (2021 – 2022), City Bridge Trust. (2018 – 2023), Unity Theatre Trust (2022), the National Lottery Community Fund (2022) and made possible  with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players (2022), and with thanks to Queen Mary University of London.

Arts Council England logoCity Bridge Trust logoTeal coloured circle stamp of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Centre: crossed fingers with a smiley face formed across the folded fingers and the inside of the palm. White letters around the symbol read 'Made possible with Heritage Fund'. Black and white logo of the Unity Theatre Trust. Black letters that read 'Supported by Unity Theatre Trust' encircle a cog in the middle of the image. On the right of the cog, there is a black theatre face mask.Logo of the National Lottery Community Fund. Left: crossed fingers in black and white with a smiley face formed across the folded fingers and the inside of the palm. Next to it, the words 'Community Fund' written in magenta and black respectively.Garrick Charitable Trust logo

General Information
Quiet Rebels image

Margaret Chapman and Astley Roy Thomas are pictured together in the joyful 50’s style black and white photo  against a futuristic dark brown background with coding digits. They both smile and beam with bliss. Their story is one of the many family histories unearthed by Julie McNamara and Hassan Mahamdallie, and presented in Quiet Rebels. Photo with kind permission of Barbara Goodison. Image design by Mohammed Ali.

You can read more about the Research and Development stages of Quiet Rebels over the years with photos and videos of previous sharing of the work in progress.

For further information about the production please send us a message using our online enquiry form. Alternatively, drop us an email, give us a call on 020 8123 9945 or send us a text (SMS / WhatsApp) on 074 3242 18253.