PREVIEW: My Brothers and Sisters @ Sarah Siddons Theatre, London

Play about radicalisation commissioned by City of Westminster College receives additional funding from Westminster Prevent.

MAD ‘ED THEATRES production of My Brothers and Sisters, a play written by Gscene columnist Craig Hanlon-Smith, originally commissioned by City of Westminster College last year to demonstrate its commitment to the government’s Prevent duty returns on February 20.

Following the success of the original London run, the production returns to the Sarah Siddons Theatre for two weeks in February and March after receiving additional funding from Westminster City Council’s PREVENT programme.

This one-act play revolves around missing 15-year-old Shamilla and her older brother Mohammed, whose whereabouts alert the authorities to a previously unremarkable family.

Craig Hanlon-Smith

Craig Hanlon-Smith

Offering the audience a window into the lives of a family and their friends in modern Britain during the most challenging 48 hours they are ever likely to experience, the production draws uncomfortable connections between racism, austerity, immigration and a growing desire, in some, to head to the Middle East. Furthermore, the play examines our relationship to community and the casual exploitation of young women.

My Brothers and Sisters garnered much attention when it premiered last January during a month dedicated by the College to addressing radicalisation.

The Times Education Supplement said: “My Brothers & Sisters, use(s) the power of theatre to prevent radicalisation. It is genuinely thought-provoking and at times genuinely funny, the audience is a near interactive presence.”

Following the run at the College, the production performed at schools and colleges throughout the country, and has garnered much interest.

The new run has been fully funded by Westminster PREVENT with pupils from schools across Westminster being invited to attend.  Two evening performances, that are free, for members of the general public have also been programmed.

Following the run last year, 96% of students surveyed said they enjoyed the production and 87% said they knew more about radicalisation after the performance and related tutorial activities.

Following Brexit and the policies of the new US administration, the 2017 production has undergone some recent re-writes

In July 2015, all schools became subject to the Prevent duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 – this is intended to help schools think about what they can do to protect young people from the risk of radicalisation.

Mad ‘Ed Theatre was set up by theatre and education professionals to develop interactive performance work connected to our everyday mental health and well-being. Founding and associate members, in addition to working with and supporting the company are employed by City of Westminster College, Kings College London and HM Prison Education Service.


Event: MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS

Where: Sarah Siddons Theatre, City of Westminster College, Paddington Green, London W2 1NB

When: Monday, February 20 – Friday, March 3

Time: 3 shows daily at 11am, 1pm and 3.30pm: There will be four evening performances on Wednesday February 22 and Thursday 23 and Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2 which will be followed by a Q&A with the writer, director and cast of the play.

Cost: Free

To register online, click here:

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