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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p
Theatre: History Boys. Pass it on...

Finally caught The History Boys at the National. It was closing night of its extended run and it was another astonishing piece of theatre. As theatre goes, this has to be as good as it can get. At the conclusion, the audience gave a standing ovation to the cast and playwright Alan Bennett.

The play is described as "an unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form boys in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university". But there is so much more going on here. Broader issues of Education are explored as just the starting point. This is a play that is full of witty barbs and sharp dialogue that surely will have a place in future dictionaries of quotations. A particular favourite of mine in the second act...

Mrs Lintott (a teacher): Our Headmaster is a twat. An impermissible word nowadays but the only one suited to my purpose. A twat. And to go further down the same proscribed path, a condescending cunt.

At a point later in the second act the actor playing this teacher lost the line and had to be rescued by having it called out offstage, which temporarilly broke the spell of the performance. But the cast as an ensemble worked so well together during the near three hours they were onstage, that this stumble was soon forgotten. Besides, there was so much memorable dialogue to take in.

The play is due to go to Broadway and tour Australia next year, but surely this play has even more future in it. I have an autographed hardcover script as well...

Overheard at the theatre after the play

Mahn #1: I think it is time tea...
Laaydy: Time tea?
Mahn #2: Yes it's the new talk for time to have some tea.
Laaydy: Oh yes well it is probably a good idea since look it's raining now...

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