How can participatory theatre involve Disabled People directly in the Political process?
The LBHF Co-production event
On 5th July the Irish Cultural Centre was treated to a baking show with a difference. Sure we were making a cake but this was no ordinary cake. You might use flour, eggs, milk and sugar when you bake but instead of those ingredients the components of our cake were unusual. Our ingredients included compromise, working together, time, money and respect, for this was a Good Decision Cake!
The event was hosted by Councillors and Disabled residents from Hammersmith and Fulham who have been involved in co-production, which is when residents work with the Council to have their voices heard and make changes to services to ensure they meet the needs of the community.
It was up to the audience of Councillors, Council Officers and, most importantly, residents to decide how much of each ingredient is needed to ensure Co-production works in a meaningful way and good decisions are made. The audience of 75 engaged in a lively debate, giving lots of suggestions and making valuable points about the political decision-making process.
We met and listened to leaders in the Disability Rights Movement. We learned from the interesting and inspiring presentations about the history of the movement and we saw the important work that is being done currently
And of course we all had cake at the end. Yes it was a real cake with the words "Good Decision Cake" written in the icing.
Credit goes to everyone involved and especially to our talented presenters, chefs and bakers who performed professionally and superbly and took their well-earned place in the ongoing fight for equality and rights.
Political Theatre? Theatre is always political because it comes from people and all of the actions of people are political.
This is People’s Theatre. It is by the people, it is for the people. It was "perfect for the event" and "the best part" of it.