There is much in Bianca Bagatourian’s The Time Of Our Lies that reminded me of George Brant’s Grounded, the play that told the story an American woman drone pilot and in so doing brought home the dehumanising effect of modern warfare on those shielded by distance but not by the after-effects of sensing the violence they were inflicting on other human beings. Continue reading →
Another milestone, another account of lost stories come to light. Summer Rolls is the first Vietnamese play to have been produced in London and a mark of a growing sense of confidence by its two young producers, Tuyen Do, Summer Rolls’ author and Tuyet Huynh, who only set up their production company, VãnThanh Productions a year ago. Continue reading →
`Rivers of blood’, as Enoch Powell’s Birmingham speech in 1968 about immigration was famously dubbed. Except he never really said that. Like so much else we call history, it was a moniker adopted by the press out of an illusion the politician, fond of quoting from classic scholars made: `like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.’ Yanked out of context, it stuck. Continue reading →
Jonathan Lynn is best known as co-writer of the hugely successful Yes,Minister and Yes, Prime Minister with Antony Jay. Comedy is clearly one of the weapons in his armoury and his account of the strained relationship between two major figures in modern French history, Marshal Pétain and Charles de Gaulle is nothing if not mischievously revisionist. Continue reading →
When Tilda Swinton first played Manfred Karge’s trans-gendered Max Gericke in 1987 (Traverse, Edinburgh, Royal Court, 1988), it and she became a cause célèbre. Directed by Stephen Unwin, Karge’s extraordinary portrait of pre and post-war Germany seen through the eyes of a crane-worker’s widow who takes up male identity proved mesmerising as a piece of socialist surrealism with Swinton, just beginning to make her name, clad in y-fronts and bovver boots.