Shoosmiths hosts a triple bill theatre performance by Odd Arts, to celebrate Back History Month

On 4th October Shoosmiths’ Manchester office hosted a triple bill theatre performance by its charity partner of the year, Odd Arts, to celebrate Back History Month.

Odd Arts uses theatre to challenge inequalities and increase opportunities for people facing the greatest level of discrimination and disadvantage. Its co-founder and CEO Rebecca Friel MBE studied with Brazilian dramatist Augusto Boal, who created a form of interactive theatre intended to transform lives, as spectators become performers, acting out solutions to social problems.

The charity works in three ways: therapeutic theatre workshops to reduce risk; interactive theatre tours to empower and educate; and creative and community-led social action projects to overcome inequalities.

Earlier this month we invited our staff, clients, contacts and members of the community to join us in the XYZ Building where we saw three short performances to challenge the way we all understand and think about race, racism and Black History:

  • 'The Great British Lie' which tells the history of racism in UK;
  • 'Knock Out Blow' which celebrates collective & Black history; and
  • 'Going Home' which explores how we can be more anti-racist.

Knock Out Blow is a community-led play and workshop exploring the life of Manchester Boxing Legend Len Johnson who responded as a fighter inside and outside of the ring in response to the struggles and barriers he faced because of his skin colour.

Going Home is a play that depicts the racism and discrimination faced by people from racially minoritised backgrounds in the UK today and is based in the 12 hours leading up to and following the 2021 Euros Men’s Football Final.

We were promised that the event would be interactive, non-judgemental and a brave space - and we weren’t disappointed.  After the performance of Going Home, Rebecca engaged with the audience to ask us what being anti-racist means in 2023 and the actors replayed a key scene from the play with a willing member of the audience, who clearly demonstrated what this could look like in practice, calling out microaggressions in everyday life that many of us might otherwise leave unchallenged. 

You can find out more about Shoosmiths’ approach to diversity and inclusion here and our Embrace network here.



This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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