Local theatre-makers explore why we defy authority

Published: Tuesday 14th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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A collaboration between Act III Theatre Makers and Hull Truck Youth Theatre explores the reasons why humans defy authority.

Defiance is to be performed at The Guildhall next week. The show connects Generation Z and Britain’s baby boomers through their acts of defiance and protest.


The two generations are routinely ignored and stereotyped in mainstream media. However, these voices are now given a platform as they explore what it really means to be defiant in 2017.

From bra burning to selfie taking, what can be classed as protest? And more importantly, why do we defy?

Act III Theatre Makers is a group for the over 55s, whilst the Youth Theatre consists of people aged 16-21. Defiance aims to make a bold statement about the similarities and differences in the ways each generation disregards authority and social norms.

We caught up with cast members Joe Beckett from the Youth Theatre and Chris Church from Act III to find out what audiences can expect.


“We start off exploring how children defy, which is usually their parents,” explains Chris.

“There’s a scene, for example, that shows a child refusing to eat cabbage,” adds Joe. “Something that I personally remember doing as a child.”

In the early stages of creating the show, directors Tom Bellerby and Rupert Creed formed small mixed groups of both age ranges. Each was asked to discuss ways in which they have disobeyed authority throughout their lives.

“It was incredible really because I was hearing all these stories from the older generation and realising that we are actually very similar,” Joe tells us.


Interestingly, each cast member plays a character similar to themselves, and this has had an impact on the actors:

“Usually you’d be playing someone completely different,” explains Joe. “It’s been quite weird to read back words that I have said at some point in my life. There’s been a lot of self-realisation going on in rehearsals.”

Chris has also found the experience thought-provoking: “As I am older, it’s made me think a lot about my life,” she admits.

“Especially my role as a parent. It’s very interesting that neither I nor my children have particularly defied their parents, but rather challenged unfair authority figures.”

It is hoped that the audience will relate to a lot of the stories told during the performance:

“We want to take the audience on a journey of self-realisation. A journey that we ourselves have been on,” Chris adds.


Hull is the perfect city to create and host such a show. It was here that people defied King Charles to spark the English Civil War. Since then, we’ve definitely continued to do things “the Hull way”.

Defiance will be performed at The Guildhall from Wednesday 22 to Saturday 25 March.

Ground floor seating is now sold out but balcony seats with limited accessibility are available for all performances. These can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01482 323638.

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Published: Tuesday 14th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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