by various authors.

Southwark Playhouse (The Vaults) Shipwright Yard (corner of Tooley St & Bermondsey St) SE1 2TF To 19 March 2011.
Thurs-Sat: 7.30pm
Runs: 2hr One interval.
Review: Carole Woddis 17 March.

Attacking the cuts from all angles.
The cuts may be coming (and the Alternative March on 26 March) but thank goodness there appears to be some spirit left in the old body yet. And ambition.

Eight new plays including work from Mark Ravenhill, Lucy Kirkwood and David Greig focussing on The Cuts, performed globally from New York to Berlin to Edinburgh with all those participating giving their services free. As fine an example of The Big Society as you could wish for. Isn’t that the irony?

Resistance and Protest apart, these eight plays, though, would stand alone, theatrically, by any standards.

On an empty wooden stage, the delivery and political messages are as refined as they are potent, highlighting the madness and the injustice of the Coalition’s economic policy. At last too, here is British theatre making parallels between what is happening in North Africa and here.

David Greig’s Fragile employs the audience to act as the second player in his duet between a patient confronting his mental health manager over the likely closure of their mental health Centre. Inspired by the unemployed young man in Tunisia who immolated himself, Greig gets us finally to join in his young protagonist, Jack’s cri de Coeur, “This situation’s all fucked up,” to make an urgent call for change and action.

Health seems to be a popular metaphorical tool. Clare Brennan uses it in her moving Hi Vis. Laura Lomas’ Open Heart Surgery suggests it’s all very well tearing out a heart, but the trick is how to put it back together again. Dennis Kelly’s Things that Make No Sense meantime is a chillingly absurdist little sketch in perverting the truth, neatly upturning the `we’re all in this together’ mantra.

Anders Lustgarten’s The Fat Man on the other hand takes Las Vegas as his metaphorical example, deftly de-constructing capitalism’s smoke-screen technique. Lucy Kirkwood’s Housekeeping takes the Coalition obsession with privatisation to its logical conclusion by selling off the sea and a granny.

It’s wonderful stuff, often surreally funny (as in Jack Thorne’s Whiff Whaff) as well as sobering (Ravenhill’s clever historical reminder of the 1945 post-war ideals for The Welfare State, A Bigger Banner). More power to them all.


Open Heart Surgery
by: Laura Lomas.
Lisa – Kate O’Flynn.
Danny – Kett Turton.

Director: Blanche McIntyre.

Things that make no sense
by Dennis Kelly.

A: Matthew Pearson.
G: Julian Stolzenberg.
B: Ruth Everett.

Director: Cressida Brown.

The Fat Man
written and performed by Anders Lustgarten.

by David Greig.

Jack – Syrus Lowe.

Director: Hannah Price.


Whiff Whaff
by Jack Thorne.

Nigel: Nick Caldecott.
Julie: Melissa Woodbridge.

Director: Katie McAleese.

by Lucy Kirkwood.

Coal: Zawe Ashton.
Joan: Ashley McGuire.
Mrs Dean; Marlene Sidaway.

Director: Lucy Morrison.

A Bigger Banner
by Mark Ravenhill.

Shona: Susan Wokoma.
Raquel: Jo Miller.
Marge: Emily Taaffe.
Fred: Gunnar Cauthery.

Director Hannah Price.

Hi Vis
by Clara Brennan.

Linda – Lisa Palfrey .

Director: Amy Hodge.

for all plays:

Designer: Carla Goodman.
Lighting: Catherine Webb.
Sound: Steve Brown.

Any profits from tickets sales will be donated to the Child Poverty Action Group.
Theatre Uncut is presented by Reclaim Productions in association with Meeting Point Productions, supported by Southwark Playhousend was performed by over 90 groups around the UK and further afield.

2011-03-20 21:08:57

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