The Post Workers Theatre collective has been studying and updating historic workers’ theatre to address inequalities in the contemporary labour market from food delivery companies to the retail industry. Through writing, performing, costume and stage production, the collective sets up opportunities for workers to discuss and challenge their working conditions and imagine them otherwise.
Devised collectively by Post Workers Theatre and Infinite Opera, Autohoodening: The Rise of Captain Swing centres on warehouse worker testimonies and interviews with Union organisers. Based on the midwinter custom of Hoodening, a historic parade performed with a horse effigy by farm labourers in East Kent (UK) as a carnivalesque satire of their working reality. This operatic folk protest reimagines Hoodening as workers’ theatre for the age of Amazon warehouses and platform capitalism. The work has been situated together with the archival display from Seskaröspelen at Havremagasinet, significant to the building’s design and history as a machine for feeding oats to military workhorses.
The Film was shot at Vivid Projects in Birmingham by Andy Willsher & Iain Armstrong with Costumes created by James Frost and Lottie Wood.
Post Workers Theatre (Dash Macdonald, Demitrios Kargotis & Nicholas Mortimer) is an artist collective that investigates the future of politically engaged performance by reimagining historic forms of creative resistance in order to address inequalities in contemporary labour practices.