Before the Referendum: Afternoon ticket

Dates and Times

Sat 18 June at 1pm-5pm (afternoon ticket)

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Ticket information

£12 / 10 (£20 / £16 all day)

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Being European: Before the Referendum
Afternoon ticket (1pm-5pm)

In June, the UK votes on whether or not to remain in the European Union. It’s a fork-in-the-road moment for the country – politically, and in terms of who we are. Do we consider ourselves European – and is that synonymous with being in the EU? What is European identity, anyway? What would it mean to stay together, or separate?

In partnership with the European Theatre Research Network (University of Kent), the Inside/Outside Europe Research Network (University of Winchester) and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre (Birkbeck College), CPT brings you a unique one-day festival exploring European identity. Featuring five terrific new performances from some of the UK’s most exciting artists, plus talks, discussions and provocations, ‘Before the Referendum’ is the event you can’t do without in the run-up to the most signficant vote for a generation…


Programme of events for afternoon ticket:

1.15pm – Welcome
1.30pm – Unmasked by Acheulian (work in progress, 45mins – full info below)
2.15pm – Being European provocation
2.45pm – Talk: How are arts & culture engaging with ideas of Europe? (60mins)
4pm-5pm – Post by Xavier de Sousa (work in progress, 60mins – full info below)

Unmasked by Acheulian


“If we are to remember, we must take things down. Record.” 

Can truth be recorded? An archivist digs into the archives to investigate. Through the epic poetry and incantations of Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, contemporary and ancient storytellers, prisoners and mystics, arrive to testify. But are they telling the truth? Who is recording – and why?

UNMASKED is based on research conducted in Finnish Karelia with climate change activists, cultural tradition-keepers, and the last rune singer to have received its 10,000 year-old oral tradition. This culture, the poetry that preserves it, and the landscape that birthed it, are under threat. At its heart is a vital wisdom for a Europe confronting a relationship with nature that must adapt to survive.

Awarded a Kone Foundation Saari Fellowhsip, and highly commended by Deptford X Festival 2015, UNMASKED is an Acheulian production. Acheulian is a collaboration between writer and theatremaker Samantha Jayne Williams and physical theatre artist Philippa Hambly.


Talk – How are arts & culture engaging with ideas of Europe?

Panel: Natasha Davis (performance artist), Joe Kelleher (Professor of Theatre & Performance, University of Roehampton), Zodwa Nyoni (playwright and poet) and Hannah Price (Theatre Uncut)

Europe in the second decade of 21st century is a continent facing multiple crises: austerity, unemployment, precarity, migration. The future of the Old Continent seems to be hanging on a thread; however, we still come together to make and see performance. What can we learn from performance about how to deal with crises?

This panel will bring together theatre and performance academics and makers who will consider how performance might open up an alternative space for Europe’s future. What are the materials that can challenge today’s crises? Is performance a space of resistance? How does performance in Britain today offer a different way of imagining the relation between Britain and the ‘Continent’?

Post by Xavier de Sousa

xav 1

There is a word in Portuguese that signifies a need for constant need for completeness, for wholeness: ‘saudade’. Untranslatable, the word alludes to living in a constant state of longing for what is now gone, a desire for presence as opposed to absence.


We live in an ever shifting political and geographical landscape. As a generation that grew up into an open-doors Europe and the advances of the internet, we have been accustomed to travel, exchange, engage with and collaborate with people with different nationalities from us. The freedom of movement has allowed us to expand our knowledge of what ‘place’ and ‘borders’ mean.

Post is an exploration of what it means to be a migrant, of constantly inhabiting a ‘national limbo’ and failing to be adhering to border and identity-defining norms.  Image credits Paula Harrowing.


Upcoming Performances