White Pariahs – Quiet Rebels
Written and directed by Hassan Mahamdallie and Julie McNamara
Research and Development (Phase 1 – 2019)
Following extensive research and interviews with women from across the UK, Australia, USA and Europe, a two week R&D brought together a diverse team of creatives.
The final sharing was a moving, scripted 40 minute piece, based on the testimonies collected, together with ideas of design, film, photos, music and movement.
Watch the trailer below to get a flavour of the performance piece:
“What a memorable experience! I’ve never been in an audience and heard my own story told to me…”
“It’s so rare to experience that kind of dialogue at the theatre and it says so much about the vital nature of your work and the play.”
Audience feedback, White Pariahs R&D 2019
Research and Development (Phase 2 – 2020)
As we entered one of the strangest period of recent times, a global pandemic in spring 2020, Hassan and Julie continued to develop the work and shifted their focus to new, digital ways of working and sharing, with the support of renowned, Birmingham-based digital artist Mohammed Ali of Soul City Arts
The short trailer below offers a glimpse into the work produced online (via Zoom):
“That was the most powerful experience I have had on Zoom yet. Such creative use of the platform.”
“This kind of dystopian drama is frightening, as it’s not too distant from reality, or possibility.”
Audience feedback, White Pariahs R&D 2020
It is 2028, in an imagined, dystopian future, England is a country isolated and gripped by economic collapse…. In this dystopian world, white women who married “coloured” men and raised their children, are seen as race-traitors.
The question is posed: “Why were these women treated as if they committed a crime against society?”
Detective Shade is their last choice for murder investigations. She has got used to second rate cases, but this one smacks of a cover-up. The victim is Aileen Burnett, an elderly white woman, convicted as a race-traitor. We meet with White Pariahs and follow Shade’s investigation from London to the free-state of Scotland, where her enquiry takes her to Aileen’s fugitive son – a meeting that challenges everything she thought she knew about herself and those around her.
Ranged against the regime is an underground army, The Multi-Resistance, where all those labelled traitors gather to fight back and restore democracy.
White Pariahs: Quiet Rebels brings to our stages the extraordinary stories of white working-class women who crossed the colour line to marry men of the Windrush generation. McNamara and Mahamdallie’s extensive research gives voice to these unsung women, who faced hostility and battled discrimination, and who lay the foundations of our multi-cultural society.
White Pariahs is based on peoples’ stories and family memories, bringing to light hidden histories. It speaks with an authentic voice and will engage wide-ranging and diverse audiences.
Our renowned and diverse Creative Team has developed a vital work – a multi-media drama-noir, with film, historical images, sound-scape and movement.
The show will integrate live performance, moving image and film with a specially composed soundtrack and soundscape. The set will be built around these elements, rather than a traditional touring theatre set. There will be some staging, to facilitate projection or to give the actors different levels to perform on, but the space will be more defined by light, sound and projection, than by physically distinct areas.
The aesthetic drive of the design will be to build an aural and visual sense of the dystopian future, and the underground world that the action takes place in. It will also allow us to integrate access into the production through narrative description, projection of captions, and a unique soundscape that can be felt as well as heard. The setting will lean towards the technical, but in ways that a touring show can achieve in a small-scale theatre setting.
Spring / Summer 2022
Residencies will offers young people aged 13+ the opportunity to research and collect their own stories and to creatively bring alive the history and journeys of older generations and to deliver their own cross arts responses. Members of our Creative Team will work collaboratively with venues to undertake workshops in schools, youth or drama groups, sharing White Pariahs’ themes, artistic processes and creative development.
National Tour in conjunction with presentation opportunities of young peoples’ creative work.
If you are interested in getting involved in White Pariahs: Quiet Rebels in 2022, we would love to hear from you and discuss options. Get in touch with the team.
Created by Hassan Mahamdallie, Dervish Productions explores themes relevant to 21st Century audiences by “amplifying voices from the edge”. Dervish creates high quality, political, multi-media work informed by authentic voices, created by diverse artists who are committed to and understand the diversity agenda and which engages with diverse audiences.
Soul City Arts
Founded by Birmingham-based artist, Mohammed Ali, Soul City Arts is committed to developing creative and innovative programmes of work that deliver against our vision of ‘connecting communities and transforming society through creativity’. We create high quality events and programmes that bring people together to explore commonalities and shared narratives across all faiths and none.
Their work is characterised by deep visual spectacle and an immersive environment that engages all the senses
An arts centre in the heart of Deptford that exists to inspire, develop and support creativity for the benefit of the community. The Albany is an artistic and community resource where diversity and creativity flourish – a creative centre for learning within the community, contributing to the cultural, social and economic benefit of South East London. The year-round programme of live shows and events include music, theatre, spoken word, and family performance from world-class artists and companies that are reflective of the diversity of Lewisham and the local area.
Deaf Rave is a London-based group of broad-spectrum creative artists led by Troi ‘DJ Chinaman’ Lee, working towards awareness and promotion of Deaf culture. Over the past 16 years Deaf Rave has become widely recognised at the forefront of successful contemporary music and multi-disciplinary showcases for the national and international D/deaf community. Deaf Rave provides entertainment with music, sign song and visual performances to an all-inclusive audience. It’s aim is to unite everyone through the love and passion for music, by promoting its unique Deaf/ Disabled identity and teaching everyone about Deaf Culture.
Jane Morgan Associates (jma)
jma is an arts marketing agency with over 20 years of experience in the commercial and independent theatre sectors across the UK. They have delivered successful marketing, PR and Audience Development campaigns for national touring productions at every scale, off West End and regional venues. Their clientele includes a broad range of theatre companies and venues including RSC, Theatre Royal Bath Productions, ATG Productions, David Ian Productions, Harper Elliot, Imitating the Dog, Selladoor, National Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Hackney Empire, The Gate, Mercury Colchester, Royal and Derngate Northampton, fingersmiths, Graeae, and Phizzical
The Creative team
Julie McNamara – Writer / Director: is recognised as a national/international artist and activist in the Disability Arts movement. Driven by social justice, Julie Mc is an award winning playwright and screenwriter and has published widely in poetry anthologies and non-fiction discourses on Disability and Mental Health. Julie is a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Melbourne University, Australia. Recent work includes: The Butch Monologues: A powerful and humorous collection of secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire, taken from interviews with butches, masculine women and transmen, living worldwide; Let Me Stay: A tender exploration of the impact of Alzheimer’s on family relations; Voices from the Knitting Circle: lifting the lid on the closed world of UK asylums and secure hospitals (Best Documentary Over 30 Minutes / Best of the Festival Award, Picture This…Film Festival, Calgary, Canada, 2018).
Hassan Mahamdallie – Writer / Director: playwright and director, is internationally known as a political activist, thinker, facilitator, policy maker and trainer in equality, culture, religion, history and arts. He authored the Arts Council’s Creative Case for Diversity. Published work include: Tell It Like It Is: How Our Schools Fail Black Children; Defending Multiculturalism (ed); monographs on Stephen Lawrence affair; Crossing the ‘River of Fire’, biography of artist, William Morris. He contributes to books and essays and was Common Wealth Theatre’s resident writer on I Have Met The Enemy (Oct 2019). Work for his company, Dervish, includes the acclaimed The Crows Plucked Your Sinews (Contact/Albany) 2 national tours, Grahamstown Festival, S Africa, Alfred Fagon Award nomination.
On Crows : “Is this the future of British Theatre? I hope so.”– Media Diversified.
“… is one of the most striking debut plays we have read recently … Hassan’s conceptual process is generous and pioneering.” Lucy Davies, Exec Producer, Royal Court.
Mohammed Ali – Digital Artist: art meets faith, identity and social change in Ali’s work adorning the canvas of walls and public spaces, which change the visual landscapes of cities we live in. Ali combines street art with live performances, installations, digital projections and moving soundscapes. He has created immersive experiences for audiences world-wide. An educator and curator, Ali is driven by a commitment to transform society and captures community stories. A trustee of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, he was awarded an MBE for services to ‘Art and Community Cohesion’.
Jeanefer Jean-Charles – Movement/Choreographer: has worked in community settings, theatre, dance, television and film, including co-Artistic Director of her own company Bullies Ballerinas Jazz Productions, touring nationally and internationally. She has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher, choreographer and movement director. She has a passion for nurturing talent, and within the capacity of Creative Consultant, has led training and mentoring for artists, producers and organisations. Her work on large scale events is renowned, including amongst many other events: 2018 Paralympic Flame Ceremony, London 2012 Olympics, Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, Commonwealth Youth Games. Her latest dance production is ‘Black Victorians’, inspired by the discovery of hundreds of portraits of black people in England during the Victorian era.
Stephen Rudder – Filmmaker: creative Director of Quiet Voice, Stephen is an award-winning filmmaker with 15 years’ experience making video pieces for all platforms, from physical installations to digital storytelling for clients including: UNESCO; The Museum of London Group; National Trust; Wellcome Collection; The British Council; The Arts Council. Through Quiet Voice, Stephen works as a freelance videographer and producer, delivering projects from concept to delivery, documenting living history to bring unheard voices to light, producing insightful documentaries and attention grabbing installation pieces for major exhibitions. He works collaboratively alongside various communities to bring fresh insights and perspectives and help partners broaden access and grow audiences through digital media.
Awate – Composer: critically acclaimed Eritrean refugee rapper and producer weaves together psychedelic melodies and sharp, witty lyrics. Born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Camden where he was a Resident Artist at The Roundhouse, AWATE gained the respect of artists such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Lowkey and Pharoahe Monch as one of London’s finest writers. With Turkish Dcypha’s infectious, funk based production, AWATE’s critically acclaimed Shine Ancient EP and Happiness LP have been praised and featured on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and 6Music as well as Noisey, Spotify and The Guardian and garnered a nomination for Best Urban Act at the 2018 Unsigned Music Awards.
Having a reputation for energetic and emotive performances, AWATE has performed on every continent as and toured extensively with Lowkey as well as supporting Black Star, Ghetts and Shabazz Palaces – 2018 saw this London griot’s first headline tour with shows in the UK, Spain and the USA. In 2019 Awate joined the British Library as Artist in Residence for Unlocking Our Sound Heritage, delving through the treasure trove of artefacts in the sound archive to weave together a genre-being piece exploring the subject of diaspora.
Professor Hakim Adi: Professor of History of Africa and the African Diaspora at Chichester University. Research includes African history, particularly in the 20thC. Early research focused on the history of the African diaspora in Britain, the political history of West Africans and the influence of Communism and Pan-Africanism on anti- colonial activism and the significant, often neglected role played by Africans and those of African descent, in Britain’s history. Professor Hakim Adi has published numerous books, academic articles and appeared on television and radio.
For further information about the production, please contact us