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Recording the History of Alternative Theatre in Britain (1968-88) through oral history interviews and the collecting of archive material
Unfinished Histories November 2014 News

Unfinished Histories Autumn talks series: Dis:Play [22]: Last Two Events  
Topic Lists Volunteers
     Future Events
          Unfinished Histories Benefit as part of LGBT History Month
          Three Marias: New Portuguese Letters
          Future Project:
 Alternative Theatre in East and South East London

      Other News
              Man to Man

Unfinished Histories Autumn talks series
in conjunction with Goldsmiths, University of London, Performance Research Forum

Dis-Play [22]: Alternative Theatres in the UK
The remaining two events of this  highly successful series will take place on 12th and 26th November

Wed 12th November - Roland Muldoon: Agit Prop to Agit-Pop
Roland was the founder of CAST (Cartoon Archetypal Slogan Theatre), one of the first two alternative theatre companies in Britain (with The People Show) in 1966. It grew out of his disagreement with Unity, the Workers' Theatre and desire to create a political theatre company which would speak to the new 1960s generation and acknowledge the cultural changes of the times. He went on pioneer the New Variety programmes at Hackney Empire where numerous alternative comedians started their careers and to build a new local black audience at the Empire.

Wed 26th November - Nabil Shaban: Graeae and Beyond: Disability Theatre 
Abandoned in children's homes Nabil grew up encouraged to aspire to a place in a 'Sheltered Workshop for Cripples', as the height of reasonable ambition. Instead he fought to get an education and with Richard Tomlinson founded the ground-breaking theatre company Graeae, challenging the exclusion of Disabled performers from theatre and their stereotypical presentation onstage. He has gone on to have an acclaimed career as an actor, from Hamlet to the evil Sil in Dr Who, and as a writer including plays like The First to Go and artist. See here for more

The events are curated and chaired by Anna Furse with support from Susan Croft. All events are in the George Wood Theatre, Goldsmiths, New Cross at 6.15 followed by a discussion. Travel to New Cross or New Cross Gate. Further details here 
Please join us - all events are free but must be booked, but please email Dafne Louzioti or  phone 020 7919 7422  to book your place. 
Unfinished Histories will also be hosting a book stall for the event - your chance to buy the exhibition book and others at special prices.

Topics Lists Volunteers
For each of the long interviews Unfinished Histories conducts we create a web page including a detailed Topic List of those subjects covered in the interview (See Topic List links from each Interviewee page). Copies are also housed with the full-length interviews at the British Library and other depositories, enabling users to locate particular subjects within an extensive interview, which may be up to 8 hours long - though 3 hours is the average. Recent interviewees have included Alan Wakeman, Mustapha Matura, Mark Long, Kate Owen, Geraldine Pilgrim and Mick Banks. We are looking for individuals who would be interested in helping create topic lists. Detailed guidance will be provided but ideally you will have some familiarity with the field - or a desire to gain it. If you are able to help please email with Topic Lists in the subject line, you will find listening to the interviews most inspiring.

Future Events

We are awaiting confirmation of date and details but Unfinished Histories are planning a benefit event, which will also mark LGBT History Month in February with a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first Gay Theatre Season at the Almost Free Theatre in 1975, where Gay Sweatshop played their first shows. The next newsletter will announce further information but meanwhile we are looking for a
Event Coordinator  who will help organise and publicise the event. This role is unpaid as we are currently between grants - hence the need for the benefit- but will offer excellent experience for someone interested in this career direction or would suit an experienced individual who wants to support the work of the Unfinished Histories in recording and documenting the vital history of alternative theatre in Britain. If you are interested please email with Benefit Event Coordinator in the subject line.
We hope to announce opportunities for performers/ readers to get involved in the next newsletter.

Three Marias: New Portuguese Letters
Further details, again, next time but Unfinished Histories, in conjunction with Dr Ana Martins of University of Exeter are planning events in Exeter and London in March 2015, around International Women's Day, to record the response of groups of women around the world who staged readings and performances in 1973 from the New Portuguese Letters to protest at the treatment of the three writers, all named Maria, whose joint feminist work was banned weeks after its publication in Portugal, then under military regime, when they were arrested for 'corrupting public morals'. The British events were among the early performances that came out of the second wave of feminism.
New Portuguese Letters was described on its British publication as 'a superb tapestry of many things: lyrical often erotic poetry; letters based on a classic story of imprisonment in a nunnery; short stories about repression, war and sexual roles; and... documentary material on the position of women in a rigidly traditionalist society'. Watch this space for further information. 

Future Project: Alternative Theatre in East and South East London
Unfinished Histories is beginning development of new project to focus on alternative theatre companies and venues in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Greenwich and Lewisham in the 1960s to 1980s, which will aim to look at venues from the Half Moon to the Tom Allen Centre and companies from Woof! Theatre to GYPT, The A Team to Second Wave, along with initiatives like The East End Festival or THAP. If you were part of a company based in those boroughs in that time period or you have archive material from the work or memories of seeing shows, we would love to hear from you. Please email: with East End Alternatives in the subject line.

Other News

Man To Man
Manfred Karge's play Man to Man confronts the dilemma faced by a young widow in Nazi Germany who takes on her dead husband's job and his identity in her struggle to survive. This one-woman show, originally produced
in Anthony Vivis's translation at the Traverse Theatre with Tilda Swinton in the 1980s, is receiving its first production in Britain since then, performed by Tricia Kelly in a 'tour de force, award-deserving performance'. It runs at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, till 30th November. Further information here

Friends of Unfinished Histories are: Sir Alan Ayckbourn, David Aukin, Annette Beringer, Victoria Broackes, Nancy Meckler, Amanda Sebestyen

If you would like to know more about becoming a Friend, Amabassador or Benefactor please contact us

Donations to Unfinished Histories are eligible for Gift Aid. See here for more information

Copies of our exhibition book Re-Staging Revolutions, CDs and other publications are available from our online shop

Best wishes

Dr Susan Croft, Director 
Jessica Higgs, Associate Director

Patrons: Adjoa Andoh, Baroness Christine Crawley, Stephen Daldry, Tony Elliott, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Pratibha Parmar, Sir Tony Robinson, Dame Harriet Walter

Board: Danny Braverman, Tony Coult, Ness Lee, Olusola Oyeleye, Lucie Regan, Sue Timothy

Company no: 3950781 + Charity no: 1149431
If you have received this email it is because you have shown an interest in the project, had a direct involvement with it or we believe you might like to know about the work.

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