Acclaimed Writer and Director NEIL BARTLETT is travelling across the UK interviewing and recording a hundred remarkable people to create an extraordinary new national public artwork titled 24 HOURS OF PEACE – a twenty-four-hour-long performance dedicated to the work of peace. Taking place at the Royal Exchange Theatre on Remembrance Sunday the theatre will keep its doors open for the full twenty-four hours of the performance of this unique and free event
The interviewing process has already started and Neil has met with and recorded the voices of some remarkable people, from an 84-year-old Greenham Common veteran to a young volunteer recently returned from a Syrian refugee camp; from a trans activist to an imam; from an ex-sniper who served in Afghanistan to an IRA bomb survivor, all of these one hundred people have one thing in common - they have all committed themselves to working for peace. In creating 24 HOURS OF PEACE Neil will edit the transcripts from the interviews into a single, marathon monologue that will be delivered live on Remembrance Sunday by a company of 48 performers, a relay-team of voices featuring members from Greater Manchester’s diverse communities as well as professional performers.
Launching the project Neil said,
“Every year, the two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday asks us all to look back, but it also asks us to look forward. Last year, as the amazing moment of the silence ended, I found myself wondering about what the word ‘peace’ that is so often mentioned on the day really means to us all these days. In particular, I started wondering about all the people who go to work every morning to try and turn that powerful little word into some kind of daily reality. So, what I'm trying to do with this performance is to make a space in which some of those very special peoples' voices can be heard. Whether you choose to come to the centre of Manchester and join the crowd at the Royal Exchange Theatre on Remembrance Sunday for this event - or whether you go online to hear their words as part of the live national twenty-four hour broadcast , I hope people all over the country will take this chance to listen to some of these stories of peace. Trust me, they are amazing.”
Some interviewees include:
Emma Sky OBE – author and activist who served in Iraq as the political advisor to US General Ray Odierno, after acting as the Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority. She is currently Director of the Yale University World Fellows program and a Senior Fellow at Yale's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
Nigel Bromage – founder of Small Steps, an organisation of former members of far-right organisations who have rejected violence and far-right narratives and are now committed to exposing and eradicating far-right extremism in the UK.
Cllr Tommy Judge – Manchester City Councillor, former serviceman and chair of Moss Side Fire Station boxing club.
Audrey Layton – 84 year old former Greenham Common women’s camp resident.
24 HOURS OF PEACE will be performed live on the main stage of the ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE starting at 11.02 on Sunday November 10th – Remembrance Sunday. It will also be broadcast live in its entirety on national digital radio station RESONANCE FM. It is produced by Thomas Carter Projects, in partnership with Royal Exchange Theatre and Resonance FM.