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The company dreamthinkspeak have never been afraid to take the unconventional approach. As the artistic director Tristan Sharps puts it, they have done “a lot of work in buildings that aren’t theatres”.
Previous spectacles of theirs were staged in abandoned or semi-abandoned spaces including the hidden interiors of a disused department store, the labyrinthine back passsageways of a theatre and unseen spaces in the renowned buildings of Kings College and Somerset House.
Their most recent immersive experience Absent is highly imaginative and intricate in its execution. Taking over the basements of Shoreditch Town Hall and opening up areas that have never been revealed before, it strikingly reimagines the true story of the Duchess of Argyll’s residence at a central London hotel from the 1970s until the 80s, when she was finally evicted, having run out of friends and credit.
It is a highly unusual story and well suited to being playfully experimented with.
Read my full review of Absent here
The People Vs Democracy is billed as a “live action game about power and politics in the UK”.
Taking place in the free-thinking surrounds of the Free Word Centre, it claims to reveal the truths to players about the difficult compromises that often need to be made in our political system.
A great deal of planning and care has clearly gone into conceiving, as well as setting up and visualising, the game. But does The People Vs Democracy prove effective in its stated aim of highlighting the stark realities of political negotiations?
To find out, read my full review
The London-based theatre company Tara Arts, led by artistic director Jatinder Verma, is one of the UK’s foremost creators of cross-cultural theatre. The company has joined forces with Black Theatre Live, a pioneering consortium of eight regional theatres funded by the Arts Council, and Queen’s Hall Arts.
This, their imaginative repurposing of Macbeth, incorporates live music in the form of Indian drumming, as well as Indian gestures and movement, while retaining the original language of the play. I saw it on Friday at Stratford Circus theatre, and it makes for an exceptional production.
Read my full review on a A Younger Theatre
Tanya Ronder’s critically acclaimed theatre adaptation of the book Vernon God Little initially premièred at the Young Vic back in 2007, winning an Olivier for Best New Play.
On Thursday I watched and reviewed emerging company Burn Bright Theatre‘s revival of the play, in collaboration with Space Productions.
A witty and dark satire, D.B.C. Pierre’s novel Vernon God Little makes for compulsive reading. The story centres on the character of Vernon Gregory Little, whose bullied best friend Jesus Navarro kills sixteen of his classmates before turning the gun on himself in small town Martirio, Texas.
This is a scenario that all too disturbingly echoes the real Columbine massacre, as well as other high school shootings that have become increasingly commonplace in America. Vernon is forced to flee Martirio as the townspeople blame him for the massacre.
So how did this theatre production compare to the book?
To find out, read my full review on A Younger Theatre