Reading The Riot Act

The true stories of Stoke-on-Trent’s 1842 Chartist Riots brought to life in this unique event specially created with voices of local people.

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On 26th Nov 2015 we successfully raised £71 with 9 supporters in 21 days


Reading the Riot Act is a unique experience being created in Stoke-on-Trent by Appetite, Theresa Tainton and ground breaking theatre company, Periplum. Your donations will help to ensure this exciting experience takes place and to help bring more events like it to Stoke-on-Trent.

About The Event

Reading the Riot Act will be take place over the weekend of 28 and 29 November 2015. We aim to bring to life the events of the Chartist riots which took place in the Potteries in August 1842. You will witness the unfolding of this true tale in a way that has never been told before. Turn detective during this intimate journey through Fenton Library as visual installations and iPad navigation lead you through a portal back in time.

When booking your tickets you can select whether you want to follow the journey through the eyes of the striking miners or local pottery workers. Each experience will follow a different tale as you nagivate around Fenton library. 

Why Choose The Chartist Riots?

The events of August 1842 are little known by todays generation in Stoke-on-Trent and yet they were of great importance in bringing about social change for workers in the area. Following years of unrest, the miners went on strike demanding a fair wage and better working conditions. The strikes had a direct impact on the pottery workers as without coal they were unable to work and they too, were going through periods of strike due to their unfair treatment in their industry.

The Chartist movement was aware of the brewing tensions in the city and representatives came to give sermons hoping to further their cause. However, they instead fueled a riot which would go on to last two days, leave one person dead, and cause - in modern money - around £880,000 of damage to local businesses and homes. 

The strikes in Stoke-on-Trent and the treatment of the rioters by authority figures caused a domino effect around Britain leading to a general strike and many further riots. 

About Periplum

Periplum produce ground-breaking site-responsive & outdoor theatre performances, making work that is narrative-led and content-driven while bringing the intimacy of human drama into shows on a spectacular scale. Find out more at 

About Appetite

Appetite is a three year programme that will get more people to experience and be inspired by the arts in Stoke-on-Trent. Appetite will engage local residents so they can get involved and influence more art in more places across the city. Appetite is part of the Creative People and Places programme and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Appetite is led by the New Vic Theatre in partnership with B Arts, Brighter Futures, Partners in Creative Learning and Staffordshire University. Appetite is also supported by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Find out more at

About Theresa Tainton

Theresa Tainton joined Appetite as part of their community hub programme in 2013. 

In 2014, Theresa also signed up as a volunteer working on Appetites projects, getting meet audiences and see and contribute to artistic work. As part of her development, she has continued to work on her own programme of Take Aways to develop her own taste, and to feedback to the Appetite Creative Producer and community hubs.

This year, Theresa has worked closely with the team as a Creative Projects Volunteer as part of her professional development supported through Appetite's development programme. This project has been developed by Theresa Tainton in collaboration with the Appetite team and is truly inspired by the Appetite process. This will be the first commission that Theresa and Appetite will collaborate on. We hope this is a pilot project with many to follow.




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