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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: 2000 Feet Away

Publicity still for 2000 Feet Away: Phyllis Logan, Joseph Fiennes and Ian Hart

I was talking to an actor recently who was horrified to learn that out there in the blogosphere, there are bloggers that go to previews and review the work before the official press night... He was initially horrified and then angry. After slowly stepping away from the actor and getting back to the real world, I thought it must be strange for some people to comprehend how people pay for a show and then talk about it afterwards... It is as if the phrase "word of mouth"didn't exist before blogging... It seems to be the latest thing for actors to moan about bloggers even if it is what they have to appear in that is at fault...

So with all that in mind, I am blogging about going to a preview of 2000 Feet away by Anthony Weigh on Friday night at the Bush Theatre. I don't know what made me want to go see this play about sex offenders and a local sheriff responsible for enforcing a law keeping them away places where children may gather... But I am glad that I did. It must have been the power of some great email marketing in late May that did it. I didn't even realise that the cast included Joseph Fiennes. Richard joined me to see the play. I saw Dina Martina at the Soho Theatre with him and he thought there was a common theme in the sort of entertainment we have been seeing together: sexual abuse... If we keep that up the mind boggles thinking about what we are going to see next...

This play was first presented in Sydney last year and there was a view then it had nine scenes yet to make a coherent play. I am assuming it developed further (or that reviewer was bonkers), as what we were presented with was a very cleverly put together series of scenes that while may have been stylistic, were always sharp and funny... And there never was a dull moment... All the performances were amazing including by the young cast members. It was also interesting that this cast seemed to fare better than most in London in being able to perform with genuine American accents.

Being Bush Theatre virgins and having spent a little longer at the bar next door, we had to take one of the unreserved seats closer to the performance area. I noticed those who appeared more experienced with seeing productions here took the seats further back. However sitting on one of the sides does have its advantages as you can check out the rest of the audience while pretending to be watching the play... You also were so close to the performers you could reach out and touch them... Not that you would want to try that, but you could see every detail and nuance of the performances. So much so that Richard informed me afterwards he was sure Joseph was wearing boxer briefs.

Earlier this week when it was a bit warmer, a luvvie had also told me I better wear a t-shirt and shorts going to the Bush Theatre as it is hot... I can gladly report that this advice was out of date... While the weather had cooled by the end of the week, the Bush Theatre also now has air conditioning.

So all told, I saw the play in preview... But I thought it was great... I'm sure by the time press night rolls around tomorrow night it will be amazing... Unsurprisingly it has sold out but day seats remain available... It must be that good word of mouth...

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