Past Events

Past Event

First Fridays

We welcome artists in all disciplines to gather each month to network and share ideas. Each month will feature a guest provocation. We'll provide the snacks and drinks will be available to purchase.

This month promises to be really special as we welcome Natalia Kaliada, Artistic Director of Belarus Free Theatre, who talks from her perspective about making political theatre/art.

Natalia Kaliada is a theatre producer, writer and human rights campaigner, as well as co-founder and Artistic Director of Belarus Free Theatre. Natalia was forced to flee Belarus and seek asylum in the UK after regular intimidation, arrests and threats. She lives in London with her husband, Nikolai Khalezin, and their two daughters.

Belarus Free Theatre was founded on 30 March 2005 in Belarus by Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, who were soon joined by Vladimir Shcherban. Between them, these three developed the artistic aesthetic of the company which has remained the same throughout its existence. They came to the UK, as political refugees, in 2011 and created a new part of the company in London, while continuing their work with the permanent ensemble left behind in Minsk who perform and tour around the world as Belarus Free Theatre.

BFT continue as a two-headed beast, in one capacity doing plays in the UK with British, Belarusian and international actors, and in the other, continuing the work in Minsk where plays are continually developed rehearsed and performed and where students continue to train in the theatre laboratory, Fortinbras. Belarus Free Theatre is the only independent theatre company in Belarus. Of the 28 theatre companies in Belarus, 27 are controlled by the state. Only BFT stands for freedom of speech and expression. As a result, if you work for BFT you will never be employed by a state theatre again. BFT run an internationally famous ensemble as well as a theatre school in Minsk. Their performances are frequently raided by the secret police and their audiences and actors are under constant threat of intimidation.

No need to book - just come along!

Fri 6 Dec 2013, 5pm - 6.30pm