These words struck me as I watched the time passing scene in rehearsals today. These words characterise human experience but almost more so characterise the everyday experience and reality of humans who are in slavery.
These words struck me as I walked around the theatre today, looking at the set and absorbing the atmosphere of the place. How many stories have been told on this stage? How many of them have changed lives? How many of them have changed nothing at all? How many actors have paced nervously up and down the stage? How many directors have shouted out instructions? How many people have watched performances here comfortably? How many people have watched performances here uncomfortably?
The beautiful drive from Oxford to Milton Keynes, the frost on the ground, the blue skies and sunshine,
the warm greetings from the cast and crew come in stark contrast to witnessing the pain of these characters’ lives being portrayed in this rehearsal. But perhaps this is an important invasion. Slavery in the sex industry, construction industry and the cleaning industry in the UK is an everyday reality and yet we never interact with it. These people are unseen. Blinded by our blue skies, beautiful drives and sunshine we continue to interact with the world and with each other as if we didn’t know this kind of thing were going on. We willingly put on our blindfolds and live in a world where we see what we want to see, where these people do not exist and this oppression is just a story. Perhaps this is where theatre comes in. Perhaps this is where the invasion is appropriate. Theatre comes part and parcel with our blue skies, beautiful drives and sunshine. It can be a world where nothing goes wrong and where we are encouraged to stay in our middle class bubbles. It is a place of comfort. Theatre pieces like these are an invasion into who we are. Theatre is the crossing of the venn diagram where we can be invited in to see the world we chose not to. Theatre can allow our eyes to be opened whilst still sitting in our comfortable clothes and seats.
The Bound Tour starts tonight at 7.30pm in Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes and will continue until the 20th March 2019.
Written by Johnny Steinegger, Justice in Motion Intern