Rediscovering the Radical was an international conference that explored how theatre can contribute to radical social and political change today.  It was conceived by Collective Encounters and The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts as a rallying cry to artists, academics and activists.

It began on the night of Thursday 1st September with a public performance by Banner Theatre and ran through Friday and Saturday, with performances from outstanding performance activists including presentations, workshops, provocations and screenings from contributors from the United States, Canada, Chile, Germany, Australia, India, Mexico, South Africa and the UK.

The tone of the conference was set by our keynote speaker: radical sociologist and philosopher John Holloway, professor at the Autonomous University of Puebla (Mexico) and author of How to Change the World Without Taking PowerCrack Capitalism and others.

The full schedule can be found here.

Missed the conference? Check out some highlights here: LIVE SCREENINGS PROG

Key Notes

John Holloway : Now is the Moment to Learn Hope

Professor Jan Cohen Cruz : Common Ground: Uncommon Partners

Professor Tim Prentki : Joking A Part: The Social Performance of Folly

Brendon Burns


Conor Heaney : Change life! Change society! These precepts mean nothing without the production of an appropriate space (Henri Lefebvre)

Clive Parkinson : Arts For Health

Dr Rebecca Hillman and Professor Joyce Canaan : Artists & Trade Unions

Dr Alison Lloyd Williams : “Things need to change because it will happen again”: playing ‘flood snakes and ladders’ with children and young people

Dr Andrew Westerside : Theatre of Agitation: Reclaiming Agit-Prop in Contemporary Practice

Dr Ellen Redling : Taking a Stand

Vital Xposure, Julie McNamara : New Audiences/Political & Socially Engaged Art

Mike Morris : George Garret and the Merseyside Left Theatre: 

Tessa Buddle of Suitcase Ensemble : Reclaiming Utopia

Vaughan Pilikian : Not to be: How to tear theatre up by its roots

Benedict Power : Spring Reign

Hugh ChapmanDiscovering Acency in Live Action Roleplay

Virtual Migrants : Reclaiming the Collective: Black and White collaboration in the age of post-identity politics.


Reverend Billy : Performing Hopeful Activism On The Streets

Stephanie Knight : Reclaiming the radical

TOPLAB : Organising our power

Collective Encounters : Collective Encounters – Theatre for Social Change

Ice & Fire : Ice & Fire

Open Clasp : Changing the World One Play at a Time


Reverend Billy : Happiness Makes Its Comeback

Cap-a-Pie : The Town Meeting

The Vacuum Cleaner : Recovering From The Radical

Banner Theatre : In A Right State!

Dr Andrew Sherlock : Re-Presenting The City – Performative Provocations and Unpalatable Truths From The Irish To The Epstein

Eleanor Goldfield : You can’t have a revolution without art

Empty Deck Theatre : Cosmic Fear or the Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia


David Diamond : maladjusted

Gary Friedman : The Puppet and The Power

Ryan Garry and Lizzie Nunnery : The Creative Process

Theatre Budhan : Birth 1871

Colectivo Sustento and Matthew Elliott : Sharing the collective

Instant Dissidence : Dancing With Strangers: From Calais to England