And the Beat Goes On………
Booking now open
Our 2018 show charts 300 years of nonviolent direct action by Quakers.
Nonviolent Direct Action has been part of the Quaker way for over three hundred years. It has always taken many forms from the power of the pen, through to practical measures verging on the subversive, and the sheer ingenuity of creative nonviolence.
Its purpose has always been clear: to challenge injustice and inequality, even that which is embedded within law; to oppose war; to speak truth to power. To do these things it may be necessary to unsettle and stimulate, or to put it another way, it’s sometimes necessary to make ‘beautiful trouble’.
And the Beat Goes On…. brings together Quaker men and women who have all in their way made waves and rocked the establishment boat, including the very early Abolitionists, the first known woman hunger striker, a Palestinian Quaker peace activist, and the Trident Ploughshares movement.
Told through sketches and monologues, And the Beat Goes On…. treats its range of characters with a combination of admiration and playful irreverence, in the true spirit of NVA.
Age range: 16 +
Duration: Approximately 70 minutes
This performance has been commissioned by John and Diana Lampen
There is no charge for performance but we welcome donations for our work with Seir Women’s Co-operative, West Bank, Palestine
Our brand new show, commissioned by QARN (Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network
About The Bundle
Based closely on the story of a real woman and her three young children, The Bundle follows Adilah’s domestic persecution and denial of human rights in Chechnya.
Removed from her Russian homeland by her Chechen father, abducted into a forced marriage and then subjected to a life of servitude, she takes the ultimate risk in plotting her escape to the UK.
Here she finds a home but also encounters the Home Office’s ‘hostile environment’ with regard to asylum seekers and refugees.
The play moves from the tradition of the folk story to that of biting satire as it charts Adilah’s bid for freedom, safety and hope.
Age range: 16 +
Duration: Approximately 65 minutes
There is no charge for performance but we welcome donations for organisations working closely with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
Enquiries and bookings now being taken.
Our first review
‘Last Saturday, Journeymen Theatre performed their latest creation, The Bundle, to a rapt audience at the QARN Conference at Woodbrooke. The Bundle is the story of Adilah, a Chechen woman who escapes to Britain with her children. She comes seeking freedom from an environment of oppression, brutality, exploitation. Adilah is a trained lawyer, trapped in a forced marriage and working in Moscow to pay off her husband’s gambling debts and keep her children safe. She makes it to Britain with her children and finds herself in a different trap.
The Bundle shows us some of the background to our inhospitable environment for asylum seekers and a sense of the head- dominated politics which have created our system. It’s funny, but it’s so sad. And the effects are demeaning for its victims – and for us.
Journeymen performances sit in your head and work. The play is good, quick-fire and funny, engaging. It draws you in, fills your head with images and thoughts. Go, but recognise the risk of becoming involved.
Will Adilah be allowed to stay? Will she be “removed” to Chechnya to be beaten to death? What about her children? Find a performance, watch, enjoy, think, grieve for our country. Thank you, QARN, thank you Journeymen (again).’
“I was very glad I had the opportunity to see two thought provoking plays, FEEDING THE DARKNESS, and THE BUNDLE. Just two actors, Lynn and Dave Morris managed to bring to life a huge cast of characters who gave us an extraordinary insight into the horrific experiences of people who are forced to flee from terrible situations in their own country only to find they have more mountains to climb when they reach our own shores. The welcome these desperate people receive is so cruel and so unnecessary. We call ourselves a civilised society. It is a misnomer and I am glad that these plays can help to educate us. I also hope that people with power to change the way human beings are treated in this country get the chance to see these plays. Who could not be moved?”
Glasgow Renfield St Stephens, National Asylum Seeker Week June 2017
Performance Dates so far:
Saturday March 4th 2017 7.30 pm at Stourbridge Quaker Meeting House, Scotts Road
Saturday March 11th 2017 8pm performance at Rose and Crown pub, Wordsley (part of a Hope not Hate event beginning at 7pm)
Saturday March 18th 2017 4.30 pm at Garstang Quaker Meeting House, PR3 1ZE
Wednesday May 3rd 7pm at All Saints Owen Room, Portsmouth PO1 4BT
Friday May 12th (time tbc) Wellingborough Friends Meeting House
Wednesday May 17th 7.30 pm Meeting Point House, Telford
Wednesday May 24th Part of Million Acts of Sanctuary event, All Saints Church Highertown, Truro, 7.30pm
Thursday May 25th, Marazion Friends Meeting House, 7.30 pm
Friday May 26th, Waterside Cafe, Penryn, 6pm (followed by a meal. Booking essential on 01326 374438)
Saturday May 27th, The Poly Falmouth, 7.30pm (Booking on 01326 319461)
Friday June 2nd 7.30pm Kingston upon Thames Quaker Centre
Sunday June 18th 1.30pm Wanstead Friends Meeting House
Tuesday June 20th 7pm Bull Street Friends Meeting House, Birmingham, 7.15pm
Thursday June 22nd + Feeding the Darkness, Renfield St Stephens, Glasgow 7.30pm
Friday June 23rd + Feeding the Darkness, Renfield St Stephens, Glasgow 7.30pm
Thursday June 29th-Sunday July 2nd, Baptist Hall, Barnstaple Fringe Fest (see Fringfest official website for details)
Friday July 7th 7pm United Church, St Margaret Street, Bradford upon Avon
Wednesday July 5th 8 pm The Place Theatre, Bedford
Saturday July 8th 7.30pm Bath Friends Meeting House, 7.30pm
Sunday July 9th 2017 2.30pm at Long Sutton Quaker Meeting House
Friday July 28th Derby Quaker Meeting House 7.30pm
Thursday July 27th Warwick University, Britain Yearly Gathering
Saturday August 26th Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research, Oxfordshire (time tbc)
Saturday September 2nd Scarborough Friends Meeting House 2pm
Thursday September 7th St. Mary’s Church, Stottesdon 7pm
September 10th Conwy PeaceWorks Conwy Quaker Meeting house 2.30pm
September 15th 7.30pm Warrington Friends Meeting House
Sunday September 17th 1.30pm Leicester Friends Meeting House
Thursday September 28th, Univeristy of Northhampton Park Campus, Large Lecture Theatre, 7pm.
Sunday October 1st 2pm Ealing Broadway Quaker Meeting House
Tuesday October 3rd Warwick Friends Meeting House 7.30pm
Tuesday October 5th Sibford School (closed performance)
October 5th 7.30 pm The Old Police Station, Chipping Camden
Friday October 6th HMP Usk (closed performance)
Friday October 6th Melrose Theatre, Abergavenny-7.30 pm
Sunday October 8th 2017 1.30pm at Mansfield Quaker Meeting House
Thursday October 12th Jesus Lane Friends Meeting House, Cambridge-7.30 pm
Saturday October 14th 7pm Saffron Waldon Friends Meeting House
Sunday October 15th 3pm Stansted Friends Meeting House
Tuesday October 17th The Hive ( Library building), Worcester 7.30pm
Friday October 20th Doncaster Friends Meeting House-7.30 pm
Saturday October 21st Lancaster Friends Meeting House 11.15 am
Friday October 27th Reading Friends Meeting House 7.30 pm
Saturday October 28th Blackheath Friends Meeting House-7.30 pm
Friday November 3rd Holy Trinity church, Skipton 7.30pm
Monday November 6th, Trinity Rooms, Stroud 7.30 pm
Friday November 10th Wolverhampton Friends Meeting house, 7.30 pm
Saturday November 18th, Brentford and Isleworth Quaker Meeting House, 7.30pm
Sunday November 19th, Brentford and Isleworth Quaker Meeting House (matinee performance 2pm)
Friday November 24th St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester 7.30 pm (doors open at 7pm)
Saturday November 25th Leeds Carlton Hills Friends Meeting House 7.30pm
Sunday December 10th, Barnes Close, Birmingham 3pm
Saturday December 16th, St Peter’s Church, Lapal, Halesowen 7.30pm
Performance dates for 2018-
Friday January 26th , St Chad and St. Marks, Wolverhampton WV3 0EX 7pm
Tuesday January 30th, Helland Lecture Theatre University of Worcester. 2.15pm
Wednesday February 7th Staff Training event, Wigan Social Services
Saturday March 3rd, Unitarian Chapel, Kendal 4pm
Tuesday March 6th Parish Centre, Ulverston, 10.30 am
Saturday March 10th, Bridgend Quakers, Carnegie House
Tuesday March 13th Hereford Quaker Meeting House, 7.30 pm
Friday March 23rd St. Pauls Church, Churchside (central Chichester), 7.30 pm
Saturday March 24th, Walsall Centre for the Deaf, 7.30pm
Wednesday June 20th, Cosham Baptist Church, Portsdown, 2pm
Saturday July 6th, Berkhampstead, (time and venue tba)
Feeding the Darkness……..
Shining a Light on……..State Sanctioned Torture…through Story, Song and Poem
This new show, commissioned through Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture is now available for bookings.
Lasting 65 minutes in total, Feeding the Darkness takes its title from the words of James Naylor and is presented as a series of ‘ministeries’ (monologues, duologues and poems) written from extensive research into state-sanctioned torture-and hopefully challenging our ignorance and avoidance of this disturbing aspect of humanity.
Immersive in style, the content both iterates the Quaker position on torture and encourages us to examine how the UN Convention on Torture (1965) Article 1 is clearly being abused by UK and world-wide governments.
The material is a combination of verbatim interviews and ‘faction’, featuring such diverse human dilemmas as that of Private Lynndie England’s mother, Terri, and a Kurdish asylum-seeker amongst many others.
What people have said about Feeding the Darkness so far:
‘Feeding the Darkness does not attack torture with a grisly list of horrors. Dave and Lynn Morris get under our skin with blazing anger, bitter humour, shock,’scientific’ detachment and tender pathos, showing the effects of torture on its victims,its perpetrators and those who seek to benefit by it. An hour which it will be hard to forget…..’
‘I didn’t know any of this stuff. I’ve been thinking about it all week…’
‘Having lived in Brazil through the 20 or so years of military dictatorship when torture was common practice to curb all and any student and/or social unrest, specially in the first 3 years when totally unashamed and manifest, in your face brutality and murder was the norm, one did become hardened to what one knew was happening in our military police shops that sprang up everywhere, especially on uni campuses…..
So to numb feelings of anger, fear and sheer helplessness, the head down, don’t look, get on with your life as inconspicuously as possible, worked the best for most, including myself…….Your powerful, disturbing yet stirring portrayal of one kind of torture in Feeding the Darkness has shocked me into reflecting again on this wretchedness in the human race.’
‘Brilliant but almost unbearable’
‘Feeding the Darkness is a necessary and thought-provoking depiction of torture that explores how and perhaps why, the use of torture is still widely used in contemporary society. Lynn and Dave Morris skilfully deliver a highly informed account of the complexity of those affected by torture in ways that challenge our tendency to distance ourselves from this brutal mechanism of obtaining information and delivering punishment, as a tool for terrorism, counter-terrorism and national security. This difficult and challenging subject is cleverly brought to life in a way that is sensitive and non-biased.
The production galvanised the audience that I was part of, and I salute Journeymen Theatre for raising awareness, encouraging action to abolish torture, and supporting organisations working to help those who have survived such inhumane and difficult ordeals. We can all choose to be part of the solution’
From A Level Philosophy Students at a Sixth Form College:
‘The pieces were disturbing but also thought-provoking’
‘The discussions afterwards were really valuable and really made me think about the issues’
‘I was surprised that two hours had passed’
‘I’m thinking is the development of our technology also a way? Since torture is the most primitive way of getting information because of our lack of ability to detect. Also, I find to get information through interrogation is quite hard if you don’t give then psychological pressure and cross the line into torture. I definitely don’t support gov to sanction torture for its really ridiculous. And this makes me think is the world going back or it never proceeds?’ (International student)
‘Your amazing play about torture. I saw it in London, what an extraordinary tribute and protest, so memorable. And brilliant that your current play is about refugees. ‘
Deborah Mitchell (Restorative Justice Working CIC)
Performance dates so far:
May 14th Stourbridge Meeting House-7.30pm
May 28th Friends House, Euston Road (BYM) 5.30pm
June 5th Colwyn Bay Quaker Meeting House-2.30pm
September 10th Scholes Meeting House, Cleckheaton-2.30pm
September 17th Stourbridge Quaker Meeting House-7.30pm
September 23rd Wolverhampton Quaker Meeting House (tbc)
October 9th Mansfield Quaker Meeting House-1.30pm
October 14th Sheffield City Meeting House-7.30pm
October 21st Reading Friends Meeting House (part of Reading International Festival) -7.30pm
December 10th Bull Street Friends Meeting House ( Area Meeting am performance)-11am
January 14th Kingston Quaker Centre, Kingston-upon-Thames
January 25th Chorley Village Hall, (near Bridgnorth) Shropshire-7.30pm
January 28th Cygnet Theatre Exeter-3pm
January 29th Calstock Theatre Tavistock-3pm
February 11th Christ Church, Woking (A Woking Debates event)
February 18th Chester Meeting House-7.30pm
February 25th Colchester Friends Meeting House-2pm
March 24th Cambridge Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane-7.30pm
March 26th Westminster Friends Meeting House-1.30pm
March 27th Friends House-6.30pm
May 11th St. Mary’s Church, Stottesdon, Shropshire 7pm
May 13th Bury St.Edmunds Quaker Meeting House, 7.30pm
June 22nd Renfield St Stephens, Glasgow 7.30pm
June 23rd Renfield St Stephens, Glasgow 7.30pm
June 25th Bournemouth Friends Meeting House 1.30pm
September 8th Craig Y Don Community Centre, Llandudno 7pm
Sunday October 29th Bridgewater Arts Centre (Bridgewater Quakers) 2.30pm
Red Flag over Bermondsey-the Ada Salter Story
‘Red Flag’ is now in its second year of touring:- Watch this space for new dates being added.
Previous performances in 2015:
May 30th Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum-2.30pm
June 6th Huddersfield Friends Meeting House-7.30pm
June 20th Wanstead Friends Meeting House-11.30am
September 13th Mansfield Friends Meeting house-1.30pm
September 19th Bournville Friends Meeting House-7.30pm
September 20th Leicester Friends Meeting House-1.30pm
October 3rd Ealing Broadway Friends Meeting House-4pm
October 4th Westminster Friends Meeting House-time 1.30pm
October 8th St Johns Church or Stourbridge Quaker Meeting House 7.30pm
October 11th Bradford Friends Meeting House-matinee/tbc
October 13th Somerset Area Meeting Sidcot Quaker Meeting House 7.00pm
October 17/16th Brigflatts Friends Meeting House-time tbc
October 20th Walsall Deaf People’s Centre-7.30pm
October 23rd Lancaster Friends Meeting House-time tbc
November 1st Bournemouth Friends Meeting House 2pm
November 9th Hexham Abbey -time tbc
November 22nd Exeter Friends Meeting House-7pm
December 5th Chester Friends Meeting House-7pm
2016 Tour Dates:
January 23rd Friends House , Euston Rd, London-2pm
January 31st Woking Friends Meeting House-1.30pm
February 12th Sands Film Studio, 82 St. Marychurch Street, Rotherhithe-8pm
April 17th Saffron Walden Quaker School-7.30pm
May 6th and 7th Blackheath Friends Meeting House-7.30pm
May 11th St Nicholas Cathedral Newcastle-on-Tyne 4pm
May 27th Britain Yearly Meeting (Salter Lecture) Friends House, Euston Road-12.30
June 10th Marple Ridge Methodist Chapel (Stockport)-7.30pm
June 3rd Craig y Don Community Centre, Llandudno-7.00pm
June 25th Taunton Friends Meeting House-2.30pm
July 15th Sands film Studios Rotherhithe-3pm
July 16th Sands Film Studios Rotherhithe-7.30pm
October 1st Michaelhouse, Trinity St. Cambridge-7.30pm
October 15th Sheffield City Quaker Meeting House-5.30pm
November 3rd Skipton Friends Meeting House-7.30pm
November 11th Milton Keynes Friends Meeting House-7pm
November 12th Islip Village Hall, Oundle, NN143LY-2.30pm
November 18th United Church, St Margaret St, Bradford on Avon-7pm
November 27th Golders Green Friends Meeting House-2.30pm
January 13th Kingston Quaker Centre, Kingston-upon-Thames-7.30pm
April 5th Sage Cross Church Ladies Club, Melton Mowbray (matinee time tbc)
Please see audience reviews of the show from the Barnstaple Fringfest on our Review Page
Written and Performed by Lynn Morris
Directed by Dave Morris
Where to start with Ada Salter? She was a true radical, campaigner for equal rights, socialist, republican, pacifist, environmentalist, trade union activist and a leading light in the transformation of the Bermondsey slums in the early part of the twentieth century.
Born into Methodism, she became a Quaker in 1914. She and her GP husband, Alfred Salter dedicated their lives to the people of Bermondsey , living and working right in the heart of their community-and having to accept the tragic consequences of their choice.
Ada broke through the glass ceiling of her time, becoming both the first woman councillor in London and then the first woman mayor.
Red Flag over Bermondsey explores both the private and the public lives of Ada from 1909 until 1922, interwoven with her beloved Ira Sankey hymns and her passion for Handel.
The performance lasts 65 minutes without interval.
All profits and donations from Red Flag over Bermondsey will be used to support our work with the Women’s Co-operative of Seir, West Bank, Palestine
Click here for image:
‘Lynn Morris was terrific!…..really, utterly and truly knocked me out!……..’ see Review section for full review
Ian Flintoff -actor, director, founder of Pitchfork Productions
Over the Top
This touring show was commissioned by WMQPC in response to the increasing influence of military values in everyday life, especially in our schools (ex-Education Minister Michael Gove’s professed wish to see a ‘military ethos’ in all schools). As has been demonstrated recently by Gove’s successor, Nicky Morgan, this policy is still being pursued and if anything, is being ‘upped’.
The following is an open letter sent by Quakers to Nicky Morgan about her most recent announcement:
‘Quakers in Britain were dismayed to learn this week that almost all of the recently announced £5 million “Character Innovation Fund” for schools has been allocated to providers of a “Military Ethos” such as Challenger Troop and Commando Joe’s.
Quakers believe that a military ethos is not what young people need. While it claims to engender altruism, aspiration and teamwork, these are not the exclusive preserve of the military. A military culture is one of blind obedience, not the critical thinking learners need, and is founded on the normalisation of violence.
Quakers have worked for peace for over 350 years. Therefore we understand that helping young people facing life difficulties is undoubtedly crucial for healthy communities. There are many successful programmes in which young people develop character outside a military ethos. Innovative organisations such as Leap Confronting Conflict and Peacemakers effectively support young people to develop essential life skills and resolve conflict without violence.
Why therefore have you increased funding primarily for providers of a military ethos? The evidence is at best ambiguous; troubled by “methodological issues”, your department’s own report does not show a military-ethos is more effective than any other alternative provision. The exemplary Outwood Academy, which you cite in your press release of 8 December 2014 offers only one “military ethos” session among over 100 enrichment activities including the Green Power Challenge, Philosophy and Ethics and Rollicking Reads. Will these activities receive additional funding and be eligible for the new “Character Awards”?
Quakers have carefully observed the context in which this fund has been announced. We are aware the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were unpopular and the armed forces are struggling to reach recruitment targets. We are called therefore to question the agenda behind this initiative and to ask about its real purpose.
Quakers believe that this allocation of funding represents on-going militarisation of education. It is our view that militarism has no place in the classroom.’
(Signed Paul Parker Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain)
Our 55 minute long play, Over The Top’, examines this issue through the polarised approaches of two characters, Kathy Wooton, a Quaker and a passionate advocate for peace with a tragically personal ‘take’ on conflict and her son’s Head Teacher at Meadow Springs Academy, Dr Roberts who is both a pragmatist and an ardent supporter of all things military.
The performance is always followed by a Q & A /discussion session.
Since its launch in October 2014, Over the Top has had eight public performances to date and more are booked for 2015. It will stay in repertoire until at least 2016.
2016 performances of Over the Top:
May 24th Stroud Friends Meeting House-11.30am
September 22nd Nottingham Friends Meeting House-7.30pm
October 9th Warwick Friends Meeting house -7 pm
October 27th Stroud (time and venue to be announced)
February 28th 2016 Bristol Frenchay Meeting House- (time to be confirmed)
February 13th 2016 Woodbrooke College-4.30pm
April 16th Quakers in Yorkshire 11.15am (venue tbc)
June 4th 2016 Bryn Cadno (Colwyn Heights) Community Centre, Colwyn Bay-matinee time 2.30pm
June 29th Morecombe High School Peace Conference Day
August 25th Young People’s Summer School, Oswestry
October 7th Bury St Edmunds Meeting House (time tbc)
October 8th Movement for the Abolition of War Youth Conference (time and venue tba)
October 13th Friargate Friends Meeting House, York (time tbc)
October 28th Disley Methodist church, (East Cheshire), 70 Buxton Road, Disley SK12 2EY-7pm
November 25th Bristol Friends Meeting House-7pm
Saturday March 25th Amersham Friends Meeting House, 7 pm
Friday September 29th Herman Chapel, Oswestry-7.30pm
Saturday September 9th Craig Y Don Community Centre, Llandudno 2.30pm
Click Here to read more about the play (PDF)
Click Here to see the play flyer (PDF)
Post-performance comments include:
‘This was really moving. This needs to get out into more schools’
‘Your play really spoke to me…..it said all the things my Mum has said because she’s always campaigned for peace’
‘I welcomed the things your play said because I’m not able to express those views in the classroom’
‘Why are these things not being said in Governors’ meetings in schools?’
‘What’s a white poppy? I’ve never heard of one.’
‘I was very impressed with the play and the messages it conveyed on so many levels’
See Review page for more feedback on this show
We want to book the show but we don’t have a theatre
Not a problem! So far we’ve performed in:
- A computer room (having furniture-moved first)
- A lecture theatre
- A traditional school hall (to 250 Year 9 students)
- A Quaker meeting house
- Several classroom changes in a large Coventry Academy (three shows in one day)
All we require is the use of three chairs, a small table and a power socket-also a parking space is always welcome.
Target Age Range
It’s written with 14+ students in mind, although we have played it to marginally younger students with a very positive response in the discussion which followed. It works well with adult groups.
What if I need to know more?
To find out more about ‘military ethos’ in our schools, go to: http://www.forceswatch.net/
How much does a performance cost?
There is no charge for performances within the West Midlands. For bookings outside the West Midlands there is a charge of £50 + travel. If you wish us to perform the show twice in the same day to different groups the charge will be £100 for the day.
Payment is requested on the day of performance when we will present you with an invoice.