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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: The Voysey Inheritance

Monday I caught the Voysey Inheritance at the National. Written in 1905 by Harley Granville Barker (a pioneer of modern directing methods and an advocate of the concept of a national government subsidised theatre one learns from the programme notes), the play is full of great lines and observations of the upper middle classes in Edwardian times. The family at the centre of the drama find out upon the death of their father their wealth was the product of a finance fraud, and it is left to one of the sons to pick up the pieces. The cast helped too with Dominic West (as the son), Julian Glover, Doreen Mantle and Nancy Carroll part of a terrific ensemble.

The production is getting quite a number of raves and given that stories of insider trading, managers raiding pension funds, and financial mismanagement still dominate the news these days there seemed something thoroughly modern about the play as well…

The only downside to the production would have to be the set which not only looked cheap, blocked the view of actors. At one point I didn't realise West was on stage during the fifth act until he spoke. There was also the curious sound of running water that came somewhere from backstage. It was a bit of a distraction, particularly sitting front row…

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