Barnstaple's Fringe Theatre Festival    June 20-23 2013

Nine Parts a Quaker

Plain Quakers


If the nineteenth century abolished slavery why are more than 20 million people enslaved today? The work of Thomas Clarkson and others remains unfinished: human trafficking and indentured labour are widespread. Are we complicit? Can two old grumpies possibly sort this outrage?


Nine Parts a Quaker - unfinished business

This is an updated version of our 2007 play, written to mark the bi-centenary of the abolition of the slave trade. Intercut with stories of modern slavery, it tells the story of Thomas Clarkson, who devoted his life to the forty year fight to end the misery of slavery in the 19th century.

Since then the continuing abuse of human slavery in our own century has become more widely known. This is our small contribution to raising awareness of this ugly and abusive trade.

If the nineteenth century abolished slavery why are more than 20 million people enslaved today? To our shame the work of Clarkson, Wilberforce and others remains unfinished: human trafficking and indentured labour are widespread. And it happens here. Are we too complacent? Does our lifestyle make us unwittingly complicit? Is there anything ordinary people can do to break the chains? The play asks the questions – but you must provide the answers.


What can we do to help end modern slavery?

  • * Know our own history, how Britain became rich on the proceeds of slavery
  • * Be aware of potentially tainted goods such as chocolate, cheap cotton garments and ‘conflict minerals’
  • * Keep ourselves informed of abuse on our doorstep, such as forced labour and the evils of sex-trafficking
  • * Find out more from dedicated anti-slavery movements, such as Anti-Slavery International

There is slavery going on right under our noses that we may not be aware of, sex-trafficking, child-slavery . . . it’s hell on earth. Everybody has a responsibility to do something about it. We have to be aware of it to change it.
Anti-Slavery International



PLAIN QUAKERS THEATRE PROJECTS is a theatrical partnership founded in 2007 by Arthur Pritchard and Mike Casey. Using simple story-telling theatre and minimal resources, we aim to raise awareness of Quaker concerns and traditions through plays that are relevant and accessible, and that encourage an active engagement with Quaker testimonies on peace, simplicity, and ethical living, in the context of contemporary global capitalism.


UPDATE:

Plain Quakers in South Devon - a successful ‘warm-up’ tour of south Devon before heading up to Barnstaple for Fringe TheatreFest.

On Friday 14 June there was a a near-capacity audience in the Cygnet Theatre, Exeter for ‘Nine parts a Quaker – unfinished business’ for the very first performance of this new anti-slavery play. The play sets some brutal examples of modern-day slavery against the campaign by Thomas Clarkson, the Quakers and William Wilberforce to end slavery in the British colonies in the nineteenth century.

There was a post-show discussion in which Graham Martin of the Exeter branch of Anti-Slavery International spoke about the work of the organisation in fighting slavery today. Among the audience were Ben Bradshaw the local MP and Father Gerald Wilberforce, a descendant of William Wilberforce.

After Exeter the play was hosted by Quakers in Tavistock and Newton Ferrers.

Plain Quakers has linked up with Anti-Slavery International to raise funds for the fight against modern slavery of all kinds. The three performances in south Devon raised a generous amount from after-show collections.

Anyone wishing to donate to this vital cause can do so online by going to:
http://www.antislaveryfundraising.org/plain_quakers


drama
age 14+

60 mins