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A Place for opportunity: The Block, representing the Council Estate in a youth theatre setting

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This article explores issues surrounding the representation of contested place by looking at the links between the Council Estate and social well-being in a specific project. The National Youth Theatre's The Block, was a new writing piece premiered as part of their 'Playing Up II' programme. Playing Up II attempted to offer access to higher education in the performing arts to those not in education, employment or training (NEETS). The article focuses on the play's portrayal of the problematic Council Estate space and uses Bourdieu's 'habitus' to analyse the way in which the performance process mediated the social structures of opportunity available to participants. The article explores the issues of representation, aspiration, opportunity and spatial practice that arose during the course of the project. The work in this article has arisen as part of a larger project that considers the representation of council estates in live performance.

Keywords: Council Estate; National Youth Theatre; community; habitus; place; space

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leeds

Publication date: January 11, 2012

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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