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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 in progress: The Menu

Friday night I caught a "work in progress" at the National Theatre called "The Menu". It is what they are referring to as a scratch performance where in essence they are workshopping a new piece but with an audience. There were enough disclaimers to lower anybody's expectations about what we were about to see but in essence it wasn't that bad. Sure the production was unfinished and there were enough subplots to drive anyone crazy (and some scenes didn't make any sense) but there is the potential there in this play set in the not too distant future Britain, where suicide bombings and lack of liberty are the norm. I thought the satire on the future (newsflash: Prince Harry was reprimanded today for wearing a fake Muslim beard) worked better than the love triangle between the three leads, but others with me went along with it all.

I enticed people to come to it on the premise that it could be the next masterpiece to come out of the National. I don't think we saw the beginnings of Chekhov on Friday night but it could have been a whole lot worse…

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