Superhero dance show creates a riot in Stratford

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 April 2015

R.I.O.T will be performed at Stratford Circus

R.I.O.T will be performed at Stratford Circus


What would a modern day superhero look like?

Find out when you enter the world of political protests, heroes and comic books through the vision of talented artist Joseph Mercier.

The choreographer attended the student protests in central London that took place against government cuts in education a few years back.

He watched on as students desperately fought for their beliefs in a battle which turned bloody and violent.

As he watched, Joseph created a new imaginary scenario – an idea that would soon be developed into his play, R.I.O.T.

Joseph said: “As I approached the square, a student with a bloody forehead head was dragged past me by two police officers.

“I stood on a small hill overlooking the battle scene, watching our defence of public education being beaten with batons and horses.

“The smashed window of the Treasury was more important than the vulnerable living bodies’ struggle for a semblance of an expression of political agency.”

Joseph closed his eyes and imagined he had “psyche powers” to play out a different ending.

He said: “I used the awesome power of my psyche to clear the kettle, paralyse the police and their batons, and dismantle the walls of Parliament to let the protesters flood in and reclaim that space for democracy and public interest.”

However, while R.I.O.T descends from a serious inspiration, it is also a show that is dedicated to the world of comic books.

The play involves four performers playing at superheroes who are caught in a series of conflicts which are both personal, and political.

Their adventure unfolds through action-packed choreography as they question what a superhero might look like in today’s complex world.

Joseph said: “It really shows our love for comic books but we’ve also shown a critique of the stereotypes involved in comics. But even this comes through a love of comic books.

“It’s a big adventure, it’s a show about a power struggle but it is presented in fun illustrated projections through dance routines.”

The show is on a national tour and was created by Joseph and PanicLab.

Joseph added: “The reception has been great so far and we can’t wait to perform in Stratford. It’s going to be a great show.”

R.I.O.T will be playing at the Stratford Circus tonight and tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Ticket prices start at £8 and the show is suitable for anyone aged 12 and over.

Visit for more information.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder