Losing Our Children to Islamic State
Written by Gillian Slovo
Developed with Nicolas Kent from his original idea
9 April - 7 May
Over the last twelve months headlines have been dominated by the growth of Islamic State, and terror attacks claimed by IS have spread across the world.
What is the entity that calls itself Islamic State? Why are some young Muslim men and women from across Western Europe leaving their homes to answer the call of Jihad? And what should we do about it?
This piece of verbatim documentary theatre, written by novelist Gillian Slovo using material from the interviews she conducted and directed by Nicolas Kent, is the result of many months researching Islamic State, meeting people affected by the organisation and involved in the fight against it.
Directing the World Premiere of THE NIGHTMARES OF CARLOS FUENTES by Rashid Razaq based on the short story by Hassan Blasim
(Co-produced with Nabil Elouahabi)
Co-writing with Denys Hodson & recording an audio-guide to the stained glass windows in St Mary's Church, Fairford, Gloucestershire. With recordings from: Marcel Berlins, Ron Cook, Jeremy Clyde, Michael Cochrane, Frances de la Tour, Lindsay Duncan, Nabil Elouahabi, Paul Freeman, Celia Imrie, Belinda Lang, Joanna Lumley, Hayley Mills, Bill Nighy, Tim Piggott-Smith, Alan Rickman, Anne Robinson, Mark Rylance, Jon Snow, Zoe Wanamaker & Richard Wilson.
TALES FROM THE TRICYCLE by Terry Stoller
Published by Bloomsbury in 2013
(Available in bookshops now)
"If I focus on the Nicolas Kent years (1984-2012) it is because I'm not sure the extent of his achievement has even now been fully grasped. A lot has been written about the “Tribunal plays” that he, Richard Norton-Taylor, and initially, John McGrath pioneered. But what they really signalled was a belief that the theatre had the capacity to address the big issues of our time. G.K.Chesterton said of Bernard Shaw that “ he has introduced into the theatre
the things that no one else had introduced into a theatre - the things in the street outside". By that Chesterton meant such subjects as arms manufacture, medical ethics, female liberation. Kent and his team have done precisely the same. They have taken subjects traditionally regarded as the province of the press or BBC's Newsnight, including illegal arms sales or institutionalised racism, and put them on stage. They have even, in the case of Gillian Slovo's, remarkable The Riots quite literally reflected what was happening on the streets outside.
There is a nonsensical belief in some quarters that big issues don't necessarily make for good theatre. The Tricycle has knocked that firmly on the head by staging work about Iraq (Justifying War), the use of security to excuse curtailment of liberty (Guantanamo: ‘Honor Bound to Defend Freedom), the successive invasions of a particular country(The Great Game: Afghanistan) and reliance on the nuclear deterrent (The Bomb - A Partial History). And the Tricycle has not merely tackled big issues. It has consistently exposed fault lines in British society. As David Hare wrote of The Colour of Justice based on the Macpherson inquiry into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Stephen Lawrence case: ‘In that act of editing, he[Norton-Taylor] laid before a live audience all the subtleties and intricacies of British racism, all its forms and gradations, with a clarity which I have never seen emulated by television, documentary or newspaper.’
This is the great lesson to be learned from Kent’s Tricycle: that the issues matter and that theatre, as a medium, can have an impact wholly disproportionate to its size. It is, I’m happy to say, a lesson that has been absorbed by other theatres……
What is impressive is the way the work that originates in a 235-seat theatre in north London ignites a national debate, gets seen on television (The Colour of Justice), and, in the case of The Great Game: Afghanistan is even given a special Washington performance for the benefit of the the US Defense Department.
Excerpt from the foreword by Michael Billington
(The Guardian’s Theatre critic) to Tales of the Tricycle:
"The cuts have landed unfairly and no account
has been taken of the fact that this is a double whammy - the arts
are being hit from two directions, both central and local government.
That does not affect the big organisations, it affects the regional
ones up and down the country."