Sabotage Reviews: Review of our Focus E15 scratch at The Roundhouse – Lettie McKie
“Populace Theatre read the testimonies of mothers involved in one of the most controversial housing protests of recent years, the Carpenter’s Estate occupation. By choosing to speak through the voices of those involved these talented actors showed a different side to a story well documented by the press, an accapella singing trio using verbatim dialogue being a highlight of the piece. They revealed that behind the sensationalised news items vilifying them as ‘benefit scroungers’ were a group of women desperate to keep their homes and their families from needless uprooting.”
The Guardian: ‘Thatcher out’ style of political satire is in again – Alex Needham,
“Young theatre-makers such as 22-year-old Tom Ross-Williams aim to combine agitprop with the kind of immersive theatre pioneered by Punchdrunk, where the audience can choose what parts of the performances they would like to follow. He decided to form a theatre company called Populace after the occupation of Fortnum & Mason by UK Uncut last year.
He and the Young Vic’s artistic director, David Lan, planned to re-enact the occupation in the bar of the Young Vic on the weekend of the royal wedding but they were thwarted when the theatre decided to close its doors for the duration instead.
Next month, Populace will develop its ideas at the Junction in Cambridge, which includes staging an immersive recreation of a climate camp, putting the audience in the roles of protesters.”
The Independent: Politics is Staging a Comeback – Kate Youde
“It is a desire to empower audiences that has led Populace – a theatre company founded in response to last year’s cuts protest outside Fortnum & Mason – to use immersive techniques. Artistic director Tom Ross-Williams said many satires excluded people not engaged with politics, and verbatim theatre could be a “bit pacifying”.”