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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: Over There

Saturday evening I caught Over There, which is a short play having a short run at the Royal Court. The play by Mark Ravenhill, is an interesting enough premise. It is about identical twins separated when their mother flees with one of them to the west. Following the fall of East Germany they meet again. What then takes place is exploring the differences between two ways of life with a smattering of food play and matching underwear thrown in for good measure.

The battle of ideas, socialism versus capitalism and consumerism are brought to the fore and the acting by Harry Treadaway and Luke Treadaway was excellent. Actually at times you did feel for them as the play became more and more harrowing and they had to do weirder and weirder stuff in their matching underwear. I also wondered whether the play could have benefited from more creative direction and imaginative lighting. At times it also felt like it was revisiting the "shock and awe" of Shopping and Fucking. But I guess that at a running length of 65 minutes we can't have everything.

This is part of a series of plays to commemorate 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and runs until later this month. Here's hoping that there are more of these short plays in future. It is great stuff and even if you don't entirely get the matching underwear and food smears, it can be over before you have to think too much about it...

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