A Dervish Productions, Vital Xposure and Belgrade Theatre co-production
Developed in partnership with Soul City Arts and The Albany
Vital Xposure and Dervish Productions are delighted to announce the UK tour of Quiet Rebels written and directed by Julie McNamara (The Knitting Circle) and Hassan Mahamdallie (The Crows Plucked Your Sinews).
Quiet Rebels is based on the true life but forgotten stories of white working-class women who fell in love with men of the Windrush generation. They defied race and class prejudice and social stigma directed against them and their families.
A drama-noir, with film, music and movement, set in England in 2028, a dystopian, authoritarian state where people who marry across the race lines are considered traitors.
“It’s so rare to experience that kind of dialogue at the theatre and it says so much about the vital nature of your work and the play.”
Audience feedback, R&D Autumn 2019
“The detective / narrator character as a form of integrated audio description in this setting was extremely inventive.”
Audience feedback, R&D Summer 2020
Julie McNamara and Hassan Mahamdallie’s extensive research gives voice to the stories of these unsung women, who faced hostility, battled discrimination and showed courage in the face of racism, class and gender prejudice, laying the foundations of the multi-cultural society we enjoy today.
The question is posed “Were these women treated as if they committed a crime against society?”
Film, movement, soundscapes with integrated creative access provide a powerful dramatisation of stories brought to life by the writers and a team of creative talent.
The Quiet Rebels creative team is experimenting with a new approach to integrating access into the design of the production, using a vibrant, percussive soundscape and rich visual narrative that incorporates captions, BSL and audio description to sew access into the fabric of the show.
Premiere: Saturday 10 September, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
“As our first show coming out of the pandemic, Quiet Rebels is immensely important to Vital Xposure, enabling disabled artists to lead the social justice conversation, and put our voices at the centre of our culture, where they belong.”
Simon Startin, Artistic Director of Vital Xposure
“I thought it would be exciting to work with Julie and Vital Xposure, and to learn from her and the company about the politics and aesthetics of disability in theatre. But we didn’t have an idea. And then the Windrush ‘hostile environment’ scandal blew up. At the same time, I came across a biographical article from the renowned educationalist Professor Heidi Safia Mirza, whose father, like my own, was an Indian from Trinidad, and whose mother was a white European, like my mother. I thought that her approach was a really interesting way of looking at the history of the Windrush generation: through the lens of these white working class women who fell in love with these ‘dark strangers’ and in their own way altered history, and shaped the multicultural society we enjoy today. I told Julie that I thought I had something we could both write about.”
Hassan Mahamdallie, Co-Writer / co-Director of Quiet Rebels – Artistic Director of Dervish Productions
“For me, researching these stories and writing this play, was vital to my mental health. We have struggled for 5 years in the courts and finally heard justice in the Royal Courts at the close of 2020. I have been seething with rage at the devastating impact of successive governments’ casual disregard of the contribution of Black people and communities of colour in shaping the country we live in today. And so Quiet Rebels was born”
Julie McNamara, Co-Writer / co-Director of Quiet Rebels – Former Artistic Director of Vital Xposure
Quiet Rebels is supported by Arts Council England, Garrick Charitable Trust (2021 – 2022), City Bridge Trust. (2018 – 2023), Unity Theatre Trust (2022), the National Lottery Community Fund (2022) and made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players (2022).