Festival “Democracy 2.0” // DAY 3 – 19. Feb. 2021 // Programme

7pm // Talk (free)
On rewriting the Oresteia as Community Play
Tom Mansfield, Upstart Theatre (UK)

8pm // audio format / Tickets
The Chorus – An Audio Experience
Theater-film of the digital adaptation of Oresteia ¼ // Team Upstart Theatre London with Birmingham REP, UK

following: Talk
What is the Chorus? – Be a voice, not an echo
With: Citizens / participants from Birmingham, Graz, Skopje and Munich

7pm // Lecture (free)
On rewriting the Oresteia as Community Play
Tom Mansfield, Upstart Theatre (UK)

Click here for the YouTube LiveStream

Revenge Eternal: creating a modern community drama from an ancient tragedy. What are the challenges and opportunities in adaptation and community co-creation?

8pm // audio format
The Chorus – An Audio Experience
Audio Exploration // Team Upstart Theatre London with Birmingham REP

“You say to yourself with a bit of a smirk, ‘I would have been on the right side of history’”

The Chorus are eleven people, of ages spanning five decades and ethnic heritages crossing ten different countries but all citizens of Birmingham and all British. They reflect on the times they’ve felt oppressed, injustices they’ve witnessed and events that have shaken and divided their city and the nation. This engaging and evocative podcast touches on racial injustice, sexual harassment and what it means to be British today. Reflecting on images taken at race riots in the US and in Birmingham they ask what they can do to make change and whether they will be “on the right side of history”.

This production continues the work Upstart Theatre started with Birmingham residents when we made Beneath the City, a play about a woman’s quest for justice after her brother dies in prison. Beneath the City, also part of the Chorus Project, was presented at Birmingham REP in January 2020. As Covid-19 precautions have severely limited our ability to present live work, we decided to create an audio piece which would continue our exploration of the themes of The Oresteia; Justice, retaliation, moral responsibility and revenge.

Creative Team:

TOM MANSFIELD, Artistic Director / DUNCAN GRIMLEY, Sound Designer & Composer / EMMA SAMPSON, Executive Producer / HANNAH TOOKEY, Producer / DENISE NORTON, Co-creator / LINDA HISGETT, Co-creator / EDDIE NELSON, Co-creator / MELANIE DISTIN, Co-creator /ELEANOR LAWSON, Co-creator / NIAMH ELCOCK, Co-creator / GORDON ELCOCK, Co-creator / SHARON WALCOTT, Co-creator / TOQUEER QUYYAM, Co-creator / JANE WINDER, Co-creator / KERRY FRATER, Co-creator

Duration: 21 min

A production of Upstart Theatre, UK


Talk // What is the Chorus? – Be a voice, not an echo

A core aim of the project was and still is to provide opportunities for members of the public to participate in a public discussion about European democracy, using the workshop, rehearsal and performance processes to bring underrepresented voices into the mainstream. Thanks to a process of long-term collaboration (with workshops for each part of the Trilogy), each Chorus member will have a genuine voice in the creation of the performance text.

Focusing on young people, elders and under-represented groups will allow us to achieve a diversity of voices which will enhance both the discourse and the drama. We worked with a combination of elders, young people, and refugee groups.

This talk will provide a unique opportunity for these groups of people to meet, share experiences, and form social bonds.

Chorus participants from Birmingham, Graz, Skopje and Munich