Knife crime, family breakdown, anti-social behaviour, racism and stigma were just some of the themes explored in RISE UP, two forum theatre performances made by residents of St Pauls and Hartcliffe about their personal stories and experiences.

Watch our video about the project here:

Over 40 people took part in workshops over 10 weeks in a project run by Bristol based mental health and performance charity Many Minds and black women’s playback theatre company, Breathing Fire, supported by Bristol City Council. Performances took place in front of audiences in the Kuumba Centre and Hartcliffe Community Centre.

Forum theatre invites audience members to take part in the conversation and together find ways to take action on the barriers that are faced in their areas. It enables the audience to change what they have seen on stage.

Many Minds Director, Olivia Ware says: “We have been working with people that do not get the chance to have their voices heard and often feel sidelined by society and the authorities. RISE UP will be giving these people a platform to talk about what is really happening in their areas.”

Ruth Pitter from Breathing Fire says: “This project, focused in two different Bristol neighbourhoods, delves into woeful factors that subject communities to feeling a sense of stagnation and the impact of this on their every day existence. This process provides creative and collective interaction to explore solutions; we can move the dial.” 

The project will be running again in Feb 2020 in Knowle West and Lawrence Weston. Please get in touch with us / 07843 210272 to find out more.