Popular Theatre in Political Culture by Tim Prentki and Jan Selman ISBN 1 84150 847 0 paperback

This book studies the history and practice of popular theatre. The global mass media have begun to threaten the survival of popular theatre companies. This study traces the development of various types of community theatre, from the 1970s to the present day.

Several issues are highlighted, including:

  • distinctions between popular and mainstream theatre
  • influence of Theatre for Development from Africa and Asia
  • popular theatre as an art form, a process of self-empowerment and an instrument of cultural intervention.

The book costs £14.95 (US $29.95) Postage costs £2.05 in the EU, (UK free) and £4.05 elsewhere. It can be ordered from: Intellect Ltd, PO Box 862, Bristol, BS99 1DE, UK E-mail: Website:

Agricultural cartoon booklets by Paul Latham

The Salvation Army in the Congo has recently produced a series of cartoon type booklets for farmers and extension workers. They provide an excellent source of very practical and well- illustrated information. They are on the following subjects:

  • Tree planting for health
  • Indigenous vegetables
  • The production of edible caterpillars and their food plants
  • Mushrooms and their preparation
  • Beekeeping

The booklets have been written in French, some with Kikongo subtitles. English translations are now available on a CD ROM, cost £15 for the set. The booklets cost £3 each (US $4) including postage and packing and are available from: Paul Latham, Croft Cottage, Forneth, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, PH10 6SW, UK E-mail: …or from: Major Gracia Matondo, Armee du Salut, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo E-mail:

Bicycle trailers bring relief

A Sri Lankan design for a bicycle trailer allows women to fetch a large supply of water in one trip. Poor rural women are the traditional fetchers and carriers of water, putting heavy demands on their time and health.

The design was developed by Premadasa, a young mechanic in Suriyawewa, Sri Lanka. It was tested and approved by the Intermediate Technology Development Group. Premadasa now trains groups to manufacture these cycle trailers. Over 500 of them are in use.

For technical instructions on the design of bicycle trailers, see:

Healthlink Worldwide’s Resource Centre Manual

This is a second edition of this useful manual. It is designed for health and disability workers planning to set up and develop a resource centre within resource-poor communities around the world, and will be particularly useful to people operating on a limited budget.

Written in simple-to-understand English, with clear illustrations and diagrams, the manual is an essential toolkit, full of practical tips, examples and checklists. It includes information on computers and electronic communication, reviews of database software packages, lists of electronic information sources and further reading, and lists of resource suppliers and distributors.

The Manual is available to download free of charge from Healthlink Worldwide’s website at

Printed copies of the manual cost £15.00 for developing countries and £25.00 for others. Limited printed copies will be available free of charge where considered appropriate. E-mail:

Art Therapy for Groups: A handbook of Themes, Games and Exercises by Marian Liebmann Published by Brunner/Routledge ISBN 0 415 04327 1

This new second edition of this useful resource contains guidance on how to set up and run art therapy groups and discusses the differing needs that groups may have.

The book contains numerous practical exercises to use with groups. Though designed for use in therapy, many of the exercises could prove useful for theatre training. The book is well illustrated with line drawings and black-and-white photographs.

It costs £17.99 in paperback and is available from Blackwells. Postage costs £2.00 in the UK, £3.50 in Europe and £4.50 for the rest of the world.

Blackwell’s Mail Order, 50 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BQ, UK E-mail:

When People Play People: Development Communication Through Theatre Published by Zed Books,London ISBN 1 58391 218 5

This book shows how drama and theatre can be used in social development and explores the relationship between intervention and participation, and the potential of theatre for mobilising communities. It also examines the role of theatre in providing genuine two-way communication and in encouraging people’s own cultural expression. The author is a South African poet who has used theatre for development in Lesotho and has considerable experience in social mobilisation and using theatre in various different ways.

The book costs £15.95 from Zed Books. As a special offer for Footsteps readers, they will not charge for postage! Zed Books, 7 Cynthia Street, London, N1 9JF, UK E-mail:

Tearfund resources… 

Guide Our Steps

This is a completely new edition of a very popular resource, Guide My Steps. It contains 101 participatory Bible studies on a variety of development issues. Many of these are taken or adapted from studies used in Footsteps, PILLARS guides or ROOTS publications. It contains advice on how to use the materials for small-group Bible study. It also includes guidance on how to prepare new Bible studies.

This resource costs £7.50 ($13.50, € 11) including postage and packing.

Mobilising the Church

This is a new and exciting PILLARS guide. As with all PILLARS guides, it is designed for use in participatory discussion with small community groups. However, this guide is different in that it is written specifically for use within churches. Each page includes Bible studies to use as part of the discussion material. The guide is designed to encourage church members to widen their vision. It contains material on the role of the church, leadership, Bible study groups, understanding the needs of the community, planning, working within the community and developing and maintaining the vision of the church. This resource will challenge, excite and equip all church members keen to widen their vision.

The guide costs £5 ($9, € 7) including postage and packing. To order either of these items, or for more information, please contact: PO Box 200, Bridgnorth, WV16 4WQ, UK Fax +44 1746 764594 E-mail:


Some useful websites The Drum Beat – an essential reference for Communications and Change projects. Contains some very interesting stories and reports about theatre and development called Making waves by AG Dagron. Creative Exchange’s website contains a resource centre with 500 contacts and over 100 publications. Select the culture and development section to see some of UNESCO’s work in this area. Includes cultural approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention and management. The website of South North Network Cultures and Development has an interesting range of issues/discussions in their newsletter which is online. The Centre for the Arts in Development Communications provides specialist training in theatre for development. The content includes academic articles together with some interesting research and stories on a participatory cultural approach.

Doctors of Joy

In Brazil, the organisation Doctors of Joy sends professional clowns into children’s hospitals. They dress up in doctors’ uniforms and entertain sick children, their parents and health professionals. This involves spending time playing and joking with each child, after evaluating their needs. As a result:

  • The children become less passive and more active.
  • They become less worried about medical treatment and more positive about being in hospital.
  • Children often recover faster.
  • Parents find their children’s time in hospital becomes less stressful.
  • A better relationship between health professionals, parents and children is created.

The impact of the clowns on children’s health and general well-being has been amazing. Humour really does help sick children get better!

Website: E-mail: