#Speak Your Peace

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What is #SpeakYourPeace?

#SpeakYourPeace is a digital festival of monologues exploring the role of peace and protest since 1918 in response to the centenary of the First World War Armistice. #SpeakYourPeace launched on September 21st  2018 on the UN International Day of Peace.

Five writers across a range of styles and interests shine a light on the causes that have inspired movements, protests and acts of civil resistance. They highlight moments in history that have sparked debate, questions and a desire for change. Watch the full festival playlist here.

#SpeakYourPeace encourages young people to get inspired by these stories and equip them with skills to write their own monologues exploring what peace and protest means to them today.


Festival Programme

45 by Roy Williams

45 explores race relations in America through the Bend the Knee protests in the midst of a young brother’s grief.

Roy Williams began writing plays in 1990 and is now arguably one of the country's leading dramatists. In 2000 he was the joint-winner of The George Devine Award and in 2001 he was awarded the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. He was awarded the OBE for Services to Drama in the 2008 Birthday Honours List.

His plays include Antigone (Pilot Theatre/UK Tour), Wildfire (Hampstead Theatre) Advice for the Young at Heart (Theatre Centre), an adaptation of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Pilot Theatre/ UK Tour), Sucker Punch (Royal Court Theatre, nominated for Olivier Award for Best Play), Kingston '14 (Theatre Royal Stratford East),  Category B (Tricycle Theatre),  Angel House  (Eclipse Theatre, UK Tour),  Days of Significance (RSC), Joe Guy (Tiata Fahodzi) and There’s only one Wayne Matthews (Polka Theatre).


Section 28 by Suzi Ruffell

Section 28 examines the impact of Thatcher’s legislation and remembers those that defiantly spoke up and out, as we recognise the thirtieth anniversary since it was introduced.

Suzi Ruffell began her stand-up career at just twenty-three years old. After only eighteen months of performing all over the UK this bright young comic from Portsmouth was nominated for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year2011 and awarded second place in the Latitude Festival New Act Competition 2011. Her debut Edinburgh show in August 2012 saw her receive rave reviews and star in BBC Three’s Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live. Since then Suzi has gone on to star in Live at the Comedy Store, LOLz Lounge, as well as numerous appearances on Radio 4 including Fresh From The Fringe. Outside the realms of stand-up Suzi is a talented actor and writer; one of her sitcoms was nominated for a 2012 BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Award and is currently in development. She has also written additional material for TV shows such as The Last Leg, Mock The Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats.


Amy by April De Angelis

Amy takes us back to the peace camp on Greenham Common and those who stood up against the nuclear missile campaign.

April De Angelis is an acclaimed writer whose extensive theatre work includes  My Brilliant Friend, a two part dramatization of Elena Ferrantes’ epic family saga (Rose Theatre Kingston); After Electra (Theatre Royal Plymouth & Tricycle Theatre 2015); Rune (New Vic Theatre Stoke 2015); Gastronauts (Royal Court Upstairs, 2013); Jumpy(Royal Court 2011 & Duke of York’s Theatre 2012, Melbourne and Sydney 2015); an adaptation of Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep, 2008); A Laughing Matter (Out of Joint at National Theatre, 2001); A Warwickshire Testimony (RSC, 1999); The Positive Hour (Out of Joint at Hampstead Theatre, 1997); Playhouse Creatures (Old Vic Theatre, 1993; revived at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2013 and New Vic Stoke in 2018); and The Life and Times of Fanny Hill (The Old Fire Station Oxford, 1991; revived at the Bristol Old Vic, 2015). Her new adaptation of Frankenstein opens at the Royal Exchange, Manchester in Spring 2018.


Who Built This? By Yusra Warsama

Who Built This? is a young person’s reflection on heritage and the impact of World War Two through the generations.

Yusra Warsama is a performance poet, actor, writer and theatre practitioner, her passions lie in creating work through play and exploration of life experiences in world we live in. Past, present and future work takes many forms, from her developing a one woman show which uses spoken word, storytelling, live art and physical expression, to ‘Grace’ (05) and ‘Make – Believe’ (09) with Quarantine, which looks at exploring theatre without focus on characters but the one to one relationship between performer and audience.

Yusra began her theatre career at The Contact Theatre, Manchester, whilst studying (BA HONS) Criminology & Sociology, from there she worked alongside national and international artists and companies such as Morganics, Sista Native, Lemn Sissay, Victoria- Belgium, Afro-Reggae – Brazil, and a host more through the many art projects. Major collaborative work includes Don Lett’s ‘Speakers Corner’ this was a spoken word theatre piece along side artists such as rapper Skinnyman and Mad Flow, to commemorate the abolition of slavery. Yusra is currently writing a play for the Brimingham Repertory Theatre with two other writers, and filming her first international feature.


Game by Steven Camden (Polarbear)

Game examines the different perspectives of two brothers at the height of the 2011 riots in Birmingham.

Polarbear is one of the most respected spoken word artists in the UK. Regularly performing his work internationally since 2007, Camden has graced stages from Kuala Lumpur to California via Glastonbury and The Royal Shakespeare Company. His work has featured extensively on BBC Radio 1, 3 and 6. A published author, Steven has written two Young Adult novels for HarperCollins, Tape and It's About Love, with his third, Nobody Real scheduled for publication in 2018.

Steven is also a playwright and his debut play, Back Down, was produced by the Birmingham REP and toured nationally in 2015. He was co-writer and script mentor on the Akram Khan Company's Olivier Award winning production Desh, as well as script writer for LIFT festival's acclaimed production Turfed. His theatre piece Mouth Open, Story Jump Out, received five star reviews and is currently on its third international tour. His most recent play, I Knew You, was performed at the Birmingham REP in 2017 and toured nationally.


Want to get your school involved?

Submissins for our monologue competition have now closed but if you’re a teacher and you would like to explore #SpeakYourPeace in your school you can download and use our Lesson Plans for free. Our user Guidelines explain how to get the best out of the #SpeakYourPeace lesson plans. Download links are at the top left-hand side of this page.

If you would like written copies of our #SpeakYourPeace monologues to use in class please email joseph@theatre-centre.co.uk