From squats to Poundshops: The Dissidents review

Blog on the Block was invited to the press night of the Tricycle takeover headline show, ‘The Dissidents’.

I’m almost ashamed to admit it but this was my first time to the Tricycle theatre and coincidently this show touches on some of the topics which I’ve covered on BOTB.

So I was intrigued to see how playwright Shamsa Sinha and the young theatre cast take on topics such as housing, austerity and employment from the lens of young people.

The cosy theatre had the audience up close and personal with the events surrounding the lives of brother and sister, Juan and Selena after their father had passed away.

Selena played by Tania Nwachukwu of Dominican Republic (not Dominica) and Peru decent is a headstrong feisty young character vocally determined to succeed in life despite the odds that are stacked against her, including that bowl of soup.


Juan played by Stevie Basaula who was easily the star of the cast was engaging and effortlessly led the performance throughout.

From losing his job at Poundland to being empowered by his friends to speak with the press about personal and political issues. Which didn’t exactly go to plan, Juan’s joy of drinking tea and listening to radio 4 was of no interest to the media who wanted to label him as a gangster and drug dealer.


The journey of the squat dwellers gave us an entertaining glimpse into each of their personal struggles followed by the confrontational climax with G4S security when the squatters were facing eviction.

‘The Dissidents’ demonstrated a balance of entertainment and a youth perspective on current issues that have little if any coverage from the mainstream media.

See ‘The Dissidents’ from 26-28 March, 7.30pm & 3pm Sat Mat

Tickets: £8

For the full Takeover theatre, cinema and workshops schedule head over to Tricycle events website.