Tag Archives: Protest

Interview: Mark Ravenhill

*Originally written for A Younger Theatre*

“They can be quite unnerving,” Mark Ravenhill says of the Secret Theatre company, suggesting that their 12 months of working together has given way to a kind of openness he hasn’t come across in many rehearsal rooms. He elaborates further: “On the whole, everyone in British theatre is on these short contracts so everyone makes this big effort. And although you might think it’d be nice to be rid of that, it’s actually a little bit disarming for the first few days because they’re quite neutral. They’re very calm and centred. It takes a while to adjust to that.”

Ravenhill is a late addition to the Secret Theatre ensemble. He joined the company after Lyndsey Turner (who directed his adaptation of Candide at the RSC last year) suggested he write to Sean Holmes asking to be involved – “You don’t know if you don’t ask”. Continue reading Interview: Mark Ravenhill

#TORYCORE

at Camden People’s Theatre, Saturday 18th January 2014

#TORYCORE is, put simply, Conservative Party policy underscored “with the sound of pure evil”.

To get an idea, play the following two YouTube videos at the same time:

That’s tame in comparison. Continue reading #TORYCORE

“How to Occupy an Oil Rig”

at Northern Stage, St Stephens, Tuesday 6th August 2013

*Originally written for A Younger Theatre*

Early on in How to Occupy an Oil Rig, Daniel Bye tells us that this is a show “about demonstration that takes the form of a series of demonstrations”. Within this description is the dialecticism that the show employs: does protest work or doesn’t it?; Should theatre be a place of protest or not? Should political theatre contain emotion or should it be purely a intellectual exercise? Through a number of “How to…” sketches grouped around a central couple, Bye asks questions about all these things and by using play, extraordinarily, it never feels like we’re being lectured.

As we enter the auditorium, we are invited to make a plasticine representation of ourselves and place a personalised placard with an anti-oil slogan on it. Continue reading “How to Occupy an Oil Rig”

“Chimerica” by Lucy Kirkwood

at the Almeida Theatre, Saturday 15th June 2013

The latecomers policy at the Almeida is brilliant, for both latecomers and audience alike. Rather than shove you in at a random point and disturb everyone else, you’re given a sheet of paper the moment you walk in the door and plonked in front of a TV screen which relays what’s happening in the theatre. The paper briefs you on what has happened before you will enter the theatre so that you’re up to speed before being snuck in round the back. I was late – unavoidably, due to our joyous transport system – to Chimerica, but upon entering I was pretty up to speed with what was going on. It did mean, however, that I missed that opening image and was, like the figures in the play, given a symbol of the thing rather than the thing itself.

For the thing which strikes me most about Chimerica is precisely that: its use of symbols. Which, in a way akin to Mad Men, send us down all sort of tracks for consideration and possible outcomes. Continue reading “Chimerica” by Lucy Kirkwood