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Theatre and dance


  • 5 Aug 2015 — 31 Aug 2015
Imported 2187
Imported 2187

Pleasance Theatre

Pleasance Courtyard60 PleasanceEdinburghMidlothian EH8 9TJ


Emerging theatre company Worklight are proud to premiere their new show Labels at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015. The piece explores writer & performer Joe Sellman-Leava's dual heritage & experiences of racism, within the broader contexts of nationalism, immigration and multiculturalism.

Labels was inspired by a racism and equality workshop, led by Oscar-winning writer, actress and activist Emma Thompson, at Exeter University, 2009. UKIP's effect on British politics - and the rise of far right parties across Europe - compelled Worklight to re-develop Labels to premiere at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015. Having presented new material for the show at Morley College’s Scratch, Refine, Repeat in March 2015, where it was a joint winner with joue le genre’s To She or Not to She (also at Pleasance Courtyard), the piece has had great audience response. Emma Thompson commented on this new draft: "What a terrific piece. I love it. Simple, powerful, important and funny."

The show premiers in the wake of an ongoing humanitarian crisis - with thousands dying on the journey from Northern Africa to Europe - and just months after an unpredictable general election where immigration was fiercely debated. Labels explores personal, cultural and national identity at a time when very different kinds of nationalism have raised serious questions about the future of the United Kingdom and its place within the European Union.

Joe Sellman-Leava says of the project: “For many months debates about immigration, culture and national identity have raged, and often we only hear statistics and soundbites. With Labels, we hope to offer an honest, human story about multicultural Britain.”

Worklight founded in Exeter in 2011. Their debut show How to Start a Riot received critical acclaim at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, and subsequently won Best Show at Reading Fringe Festival 2013, where Joe Sellman-Leava also won Best Actor.  Labels is Worklight’s third full-length show, following I Think I’m a Feminist in 2014.