Labels Theatre & Performing Arts

Labels draws on writer and performer Joe Sellman-Leava’s experiences of being mixed heritage to explore broader issues of racism, immigration and displacement and examining how we use words, the line between curiosity and fear, and the rise of anti-immigration rhetoric.

Despite being born in Gloucestershire, Sellman-Leava grew up constantly being asked where he was really from. Cheltenham! Here, he calls for a fairer, more open-minded society, using his own stories to open a wider discussion about the way we talk about, think about and treat our fellow human beings.

Everything has a label: “black”, “white”, “friend”, “enemy”, “Katie Hopkins”, “the fridge”. As Joe puts white stickers containing such words on himself and us, he explores our need to put people in boxes. Is it simply to create order from chaos? Or to feel superior? (The Scotsman)

Sellman-Leava comments, We always wanted Labels to be accessible to all. Although not everyone has experienced racism, everyone has experienced labelling in some way. It’s been both sad and scary to see Labels become increasingly relevant as we’ve toured it around the world. But we hope people leave uplifted, as the story, whilst bittersweet, is ultimately a hopeful one.

Labels was inspired by a racism and equality workshop, led by Oscar-winning writer, actor and activist Emma Thompson, at Exeter University in 2009. It premiered in the wake of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Europe and fierce debates around migration and refugees. On reading the script, Thompson, who has spoken out against the UK’s response to the crisis, said, What a terrific piece. I love it. Simple, powerful, important and funny.

Labels won a Scotsman Fringe First Award and Holden Street Theatre’s Edinburgh Award in 2015. It was also shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award. During Adelaide Fringe 2016 it won a Best Theatre Award, and the Graham Smith Peace Foundation Award, and was shortlisted for the Fringeworld Theatre Award in Perth 2016. The show sold out in Edinburgh Fringe 2016, Singapore Fringe 2017 and Perth Fringe 2017. During its run at London’s VAULT Festival 2017, it also won the People’s Choice Award.

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Date(s)30 Jan - 3 Feb 2018
WebsiteVisit website
VenueThe Wardrobe Theatre
Address25 West Street, Old Market, Bristol, Other,

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Disclaimer: This event is not organised by BritEvents, and we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information provided, errors, or omissions. Always check the information provided before you book tickets.

Event Details

Date30 Jan - 3 Feb 2018
Time(s)8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
VenueThe Wardrobe Theatre
25 West Street, Old Market
CategoryTheatre & Performing Arts


21 Nov 2017

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