With a background in music, street performance, circus and theatre, Doug Francisco is the driving force behind the Red Rebel Brigade. Renowned for his strong artistic vision and ability to bring projects to life in disused and heritage buildings, he has directed many internationally renowned projects, including roles as narrative director for UK festival Boomtown Fair and art director at Bristol based ‘amazement park’ Wake the Tiger.

The Red Rebel Brigade emerged during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London, evolving from characters created for Anti-Iraq war demonstrations in 2003 and a street performance troupe called ‘Blanco’ from the 90s. Directed by Doug, the Brigade’s slow motion movements synchronised into mesmerising tableaux, utilising existing architecture and public spaces.

The choice of red as the Brigade’s colour was both aesthetic and symbolic, evoking strong emotive responses. The response from the public and press exceeded expectations, turning them into a mobile photo shoot and providing a calming presence in tense situations.

Parading between locations, improvising with the environment, and creating disruptions in the streets, the Brigade formed with whoever was available, resonating deeply with the moment and becoming symbolic of the rebellion. Expanding globally, with groups forming in different cities and countries, the Brigade continues to grow.

Doug’s most recent project, the podcast “The Festival at the End of the World,” explores his time as a performer at Tribal Gathering in Panama during COVID-19 and his journey home. Episode 5 of the podcast tells the story of how the Red Rebel Brigade formed.