the truth to power INTERVIEWS
"Speaking truth to power puts one at risk. The basic rule in life is Don’t Rock the Boat, tell a White Lie, go along to get along! When I speak truth to power, I think of the Greek concept of Parrhesia, the basis of Michel Foucault’s Fearless Speech. Parrhesia describes the freedom to speak honestly but also the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at personal risk."
"ACT UP changed history by challenging pharmaceutical greed and government inaction to get medication for all, so ACT UP London campaigns against the sell-off of the NHS. Doctors, nurses witnessing the destruction of the NHS, are coming to our meetings eager to fight for what they believe in. It provides us with the opportunity to dominate the dominator – to speak truth to power!
"Who has the power is an interesting question. Sometimes we sit on both sides. In politics the oppressed often have to fight for the right to simply say what they are experiencing, and in personal relationships that artificial barrier is also in place. So if you have an approach to allowing the conversation to happen, then the chances of change occurring are much higher."
“I tell stories of people talking to each other, but underneath, even the most ridiculous things have to come from a position of truth, so anything I write, even the most over the top sitcoms like 'Gimme Gimme Gimme', have got to be truthful. I wrote ‘Beautiful Thing’ as a comedy, based on a truth, as that was the strongest way of showing people what life was like to people in power."
"One of the things I love about your ‘Truth to Power Café’ is the way it challenges the notion of who can take the stage and speak, and who is allowed a voice. Power manifests itself in many ways and to hold that power to account is to keep questioning it and the structures that keep privilege in place. It’s the same mechanism whether it’s politicians or those who run our theatre institutions."
"As an artist you have to speak the truth even if it means it makes you unpopular with certain groups including the media. I know I can be quite outspoken but these days it’s a process of seduction and I’ve learnt to do it with charm and humour, and from there I can tell the truth more than before."