Truth to Power Café
London Artists Projects
Created, written and performed by Jeremy Goldstein with Henry Woolf
Directed by Jen Heyes
Associate Director Anne-Louise Rentell
Sydney Premiere: March 11-13, Riverside Theatres
Truth to Power Café is a theatrical experience like no other. Through it, audience members are invited to share their own experiences in response to the question “who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?”
The inventor of the concept, Jeremy Goldstein, participates on an equal footing to anyone else who attends.
His father, Mick Goldstein — who until his death in 2013 was a vigorous supporter of Green Left — was a member of the “Hackney Gang” — a group of six friends that included the Nobel Prize winning playwright Harold Pinter. Henry Woolf, an actor, poet and co-creator of the show, was also a member of the Gang.
“For 60 years the Hackney Gang maintained their belief in speaking truth to power and remained firmly on the side of the disempowered, the occupied and their allies,” Goldstein told GL.
When his father died, Goldstein contemplated their relationship. “I’ve had to consider the power my father had over me when he was alive,” he says. He brings that experience to the Café.
Each performance is different and spontaneous.
“We invite people to take part in the show. So, each event is a reflection of the passions, interests and concerns of local communities expressing themselves in response to the question.”
Goldstein believes we are currently in a “post-truth age of the demagogue where fake news is the new norm.”
"In politics the oppressed often have to fight for the right to simply say what they are experiencing,” he said. “And in personal relationships that artificial barrier is also in place.”
Truth to Power Café allows “the conversation to happen where the chances of change occurring are much higher.”
“I’m proud of the fact we’ve created a space where these conversations can happen. The project is now at a point where we believe an entirely new theatrical genre is emerging called truth to power theatre.”
Truth to Power Café began its life in London, where Jeremy lives. It has been performed in 6 countries and is now in Australia for shows in Sydney at Riverside Theatres Parramatta on 11, 12, 13 March, Bunjil Place near Melbourne on 25, 26 May. A Brisbane date will be announced shortly.
Goldstein would like to hear from anyone in Australia interested in participating in the Café. Participants are cast in advance so there is no audience participation and no public speaking or theatrical experience is necessary.