Theatre's anti-racism project hailed as a success

Poet Piers Harrison performs in We Are One.

Poet Piers Harrison performs in We Are One. - Credit: SLT

Interest in a theatre project which explored rural racism has far exceeded expectations.

Organisers of Sheringham Little Theatre's Rewriting Rural Racism project have hailed it as a huge success, with far more people and organisations getting involved than they first thought. 

Shoemaker Emily Jupp being interviewed for the We Are One Films.

Shoemaker Emily Jupp being interviewed for the We Are One Films. - Credit: SLT

Katie Thompson, project co-ordinator, said: “It’s been a lot larger than we thought it would ever be, which shows the importance of the anti-racism message, and that people were interested and engaged.

“Delivering it through an arts setting made it more engaging and accessible and made people more comfortable to participate. And we are delighted our work will continue as a worthwhile legacy.”

Ashton Owen in Outskirts.

Ashton Owen in Outskirts. - Credit: SLT

Rewriting Rural Racism set out to highlight the issues of migration and diversity through youth workshops, a one-man show, and a series of films.


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The project was delivered by young performers from the theatre, who were inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to show the challenges faced by immigrants and people of colour living in Norfolk.

A youth group watching Ashton Owen perform Outskirts online.

A youth group watching Ashton Owen perform Outskirts online. - Credit: SLT

Among the highlights of the project were online workshops which gave young people from 16 schools and youth groups to learn and talk about race and other cultures.

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There was also a one-man drama called Outskirts, written and performed by actor Ashton Owen, about the life of a mixed race boy in a mainly white community.

And there was a a series of short films called We Are One which looked at migrants’ stories and their contribution to the county. 

The planned 30-minute production grew to a 90-minute series due to interest and demand, and there are plans to screen it at the Inspiring Norfolk Festival.

Rewriting Rural Racism project co-ordinator Katie Thompson.

Rewriting Rural Racism project co-ordinator Katie Thompson. - Credit: SLT

Debbie Thompson, theatre director, said the project would have a legacy of extra sessions and dramas and more diverse programming and performers. 

She said: “Rewriting Rural Racism has been an exciting project by a group of talented and enthusiastic young people who are passionate about this topic.

“It has surpassed all our expectations and we have had terrific feedback from students, teachers and other people in the arts world. We also hope its legacy will shape people’s future thinking.”

Visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com to find out more. 



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