Featuring concerts, debates and revivals of Anders Lustgarten's recent play A Day at the Racists and Barrie Keeffe’s award-winning Sus (written for the 1979 election), the festival runs from 16 April to 15 May 2010.
The Broadway’s artistic director, Karena Johnson, who has previously run the Contact theatre in Manchester and London’s Oval House, said: “I'm really excited about Spin the Election which I think will be of huge relevance both to the people of East London and the wider UK population as a whole.”
“With all the politicians electioneering and chasing votes, I think it’s essential to have a fresh and honest take on the issues that matter so much to us all, to challenge and probe the politicians and the spin doctors. This is always what theatre has done best.”
The festival kicks off on 16 April with a performance of A Day at the Racists, which premiered at the Finborough Theatre last month. The play examines “how and why extremist parties can appeal to ordinary people, especially in hard economic times”, centring on an old-school Labour activist who is charmed by the new Asian candidate for the BNP.
It's followed by Love Music Hate Racism (17 April), featuring DJ Jerry Dammers and MCs Griminal and Ghetts, and Silence is Not Golden (18 April), which will fuse “spoken word, theatrics and debates” under the direction of Dean Atta.
Rounding off the festival on 14 and 15 May is a timely revival of Barrie Keeffe’s award-winning drama Sus, set on election night 1979.
The play features two detectives on the graveyard shift who place odds on the outcome of the election as a black man is brought into the station, picked up under the new ‘SUS’ laws that made it legal for police to stop and search anyone – purely on suspicion.