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WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING: This company shows that there is just as much to glean from the making of art and theatre as there is from the work of art itself. They created their own opportunity; they made their own play; they told their own story; and they did so in a way and in an environment that achieved an all-too rare sense of collectivity among a bunch of individuals.
BLOOD AND GIFTS: The impressive play script is animated magnificently by a stellar cast. The lead is the largely unflappable and shrewd American CIA agent, James Warnock (played by Lloyd Owen), whose Achilles heel is his problematic belief that “doing the right thing” should be fundamental to US foreign policy.
DEATHTRAP: Rob Howell’s set design is truly terrific. The staggered geometry of the one room in which all the action takes place is incredibly well thought-out and with Bruhl’s festoonery of weapons all menacingly placed above the action, adding tension to the piece.
PROBE: The sculptures are frequently elevated above us, so that we become almost childlike, gazing up to appraise them, while being surveyed from a lofty angle by something not human, but seemingly sentient.
SUNDAY: Descending into an industrial alley to find the concrete refuge feels raw and arguably more interesting than the more polished events. The expansive interior is an ideal backdrop for the diverse work, which is found inside.
MARK RONSON: The set started with a catchy but alien instrumental track, “Circuit Breaker”, typifying Ronson’s new sound. Old favourites were not forgotten; one of Ronson’s enduring partnerships is with Phantom Planet frontman Greenwald, and their collaborative cover of Radiohead’s “Just”, is one of Version’s strongest legacies.
KRAPPS LAST TAPE: Beneath its deceptively superficial exterior the play is the most poignant of Beckett’s oeuvre – full of autobiographical allusions – and a complex and cathartic treatise on the relationship of memory to self and the (quite literal) cyclical nature of existence.
BROKEN GLASS: The ‘political’ in Miller, and all good playwrights, is expressed on the stage through the decisions certain people make when faced by certain obstacles in certain environments. It is achieved through human behaviour, in other words – the true medium of expression of the theatre. It is not achieved by crowbarring thinly-veiled manifestos into the characters’ verbal exchanges nor by m
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: These exhibitions focus on the stories of individuals, which is incredibly moving, as we get a glimpse into hardships that could so easily be avoided. They are a good supplement to the International Slavery Museum, which documents a much-publicised history of the abuse of previous generations.
HAMLET: Shakespeare’s work exposes the virtuoso nature of performing and under Nick Hytner’s direction, the company shines as individuals and ensemble players.
BED-IN: "To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions, with the aim to show people that raising awareness of the injustices and poverty in the world can be fun, fulfilling and can build friendships all over the world.”
MONIKER: Laurence Billiet was first on the panel to identify the Internet as a major tool in the promotion of street art – and a major factor in the rise of its broader appeal: “Street artists have been active in putting their work out there,” she maintained – emphasising that it is the artists themselves that drive the movement, not the collectors or galleries.
DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Why do we say gay, what really happened that Thursday evening on a pub crawl night out in Malaga and how can a picture book replace a family? Spotlight on a group of young school leaver Brits on tour stuck in a Spanish departure lounge due to flight delays. As their boozing and bonking boys’ holiday comes to an end and they anticipate their A-level results, JB, Pete, Jordan and R
LES MISERABLES: It’s worth the ticket price just to hear Owen Jones sing ‘Bring Him Home; and if you aren’t, at the very least, blinking furiously by the end then make an appointment at your local hospital to get the stone surgically removed from the place where your heart should be.
CHANGE: The painting is in Eine’s signature font – making it instantly recognisable as his work. The mural stretches 21 metres long in letters 2.4 metres high and Eine has carried out the commission free of charge for the Flavasum Trust.
THE EAR OF A DRUNKEN MAN: The songs are short, melodic but pared-down, bleak but ultimately hopeful. It’s an intense and deeply personal affair, but somehow it’s also very accessible.
BAZOOKA: The French left-wing newspaper Libération was so excited by Bazooka that in 1977, the ‘graphic commando’ was offered a period of editorial control over the paper – and ran riot, offending everyone, including the incumbent hippy editorial team. Eventually Bazooka was given its own newspaper.
THE ANTI DESIGN FESTIVAL: The extroverts – the voice of the people – shout through megaphones that lurch across the ceiling on a primitive pulley and cantilever system; the introverts – the thinkers – are trying out the chairs and benches improvised from a mishmash of leftover wood and industrial stickers.
SCORCHED: A succulent story of mystery and revelation, aptly served in the enigmatic atmosphere of the Old Vic Tunnels, and garnished with the always-popular topic of war and its irreparable effects on the human condition.
CHTO DELAT? On walking in, one is bombarded with imagery, words and colour, newspapers (the collective’s published work - also available as handouts) line the base of the wall, and drawings are scattered across the white gallery wall where a woman with a fox’s head asks ‘Do you mind if I perform a history dance?”
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