In support of Alcohol Awareness Week we took to the street to perform some street theatre in Bournemouth. We performed a short excerpt from Hamlet guerrilla style and engaged with the local community to spread awareness around the dangers of alcohol abuse.
This form of direct engagement proved to be popular and we hope to develop street theatre performances on a more regular basis. It helps raise issues in a very candid and public way, has its own integrity and energy and is a great way to build on our profile. Street theatre is arguably the oldest form of theatre in existence: most mainstream entertainment mediums can be traced back to origins in street performing, including religious passion plays and many other forms. More recently performers who, a hundred years ago, would have made their living working in variety theatre's, music halls and in vaudeville, now often perform professionally in the many well-known street performance areas throughout the world. Notable performers that began their careers as street theatre performers include Robin Williams, David Bowie, Jewel and Harry Anderson. One of he most interesting points about modern street theatre is its unique socio-political place. People who might not have ever been to, or been able to afford to go to, the "legitimate" theatre can watch a street show. By virtue of where the shows take place, their audience is made up of anyone and everyone who wants to watch. If an audience member can not afford it, then it is free.
We recently performed a short piece derived from Hamlet in the centre of Bournemouth as part of Alcohol Awareness week in November 2011.