NEWS: Smile Club @ Arts Centre Washington | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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This play introduces us to Lisa, a Smile Club attendee who’s been through it all and knows that nobody likes a girl who makes a fuss. The comic, satirical show, based on anecdotal stories, will be brought to life by writer-performer Andrea Heaton (Fidget Theatre) and writer Adam Z Robinson (Shivers, The Book Of Darkness and Light) at Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 19th March.

The concept was inspired and fuelled by the #MeToo movement in which men and women have been empowered to speak out about sexual abuse by people within the entertainment industry and beyond. The deluge of response on social media has crucially turned up the volume on a conversation which was for far too long spoken in whispers – if at all – eventually exposing perpetrators who believed that their unassailable positions in power gave them the right to behave however they pleased. Smile Club’s setting in a dystopian future where women are treated by their government as second class citizens, striking out to ‘tame’ them if they fight back, is a premise which is eerily close to the bone.

Even though social media is often vilified, it is important to remember that it can be a supportive and encouraging community for people who feel isolated and helpless as individuals, and a power for positive social change. Smile Club might be a timely reminder that to stay silent is to remain part of the problem.

Smile Club takes place at Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 19th March

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