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Programme Outline

Tapestry lasts for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and takes place in a school hall or similar large room. When the young people arrive in the hall they can put bags and coats to one side and take a seat.

The play begins with a movement and sound montage of images and text that set the context of recent world events in relation to violent extremism. The Play House team introduces themselves and the themes of Tapestry to the young people by asking them to indicate whether they agree or disagree with some key statements.

The young people are placed inside the play, imaging they have been shopping in the city centre on a Saturday afternoon when protestors against the UK military presence in Afghanistan are met by counter protestors supporting the action. They have taken cover in a derelict shop unit. The noises of the protest can be heard. Jason a member of the right wing group the True Patriots enters the shop unit in a state of great agitation. Jason’s sister in law Naz arrives shortly after him. She is a British Muslim of Pakistani origin. He tries to persuade her, his actions in the riot were merely in self defence. They are both interrupted by Hassan, also seeking shelter, he is a member of the opposing Islamist organisation The Circle of Truth. There is a fight between the young men that Naz stops. Hassan advises Naz to go home before she gets hurt. The protest has escalated into a riot and it is now impossible to leave.

Naz tackles both of the men about what they think they are doing and they lay out their opposing positions. As she challenges both Jason and Hassan they begin to recount incidents from their lives that have shaped their thinking pressing one another into service to illustrate their points.

Hassan and Jason both illustrate moments of their home life and recall meeting and listening to charismatic speakers that seem to have answers to their grievances, and propose action to remedy them.

Naz explains about her family heritage, and describes a moment when her hijab was pulled off by a drunken stranger. She challenges them about where their current path will lead them and, having attempted to reason with them to no noticeable effect, leaves. Both Hassan and Jason try to call her back but she is injured in the riot – the young men leave the shop to try and help her.

There is a pause in the drama. The young people get the chance to talk to Jason and Hassan to try and find out what has happened and offer advice on what they can do next.

The young people are asked to consider what violent activities Jason and Hassan may be involved in, in the near future. The young people are asked to consider who else could be affected by these actions, and which innocent victims might be caught between the violence of the two groups.

The young people then reconvene as an audience once more to watch a final scene in which Jason and Hassan meet a week later at the hospital where they have both decided to visit Naz. They have both been reflecting on the events of the last week and have begun to question their association with the True Patriots and the Circle of Truth.

The performance ends and the young people are asked to suggest what can we all do to live together in peace with our differences.

You can see extracts from Tapestry in the YouTube clip below. This website also offers a variety of activities designed to support follow up work in schools.

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