Quick Q&A: The Pelican

Where and when: Young Actors Theatre, 22nd and 23rd Feb, 19:30

What it’s all about… The Pelican is a merciless study of human nature – with surgical precision cutting deep into the psyche to explore the effects of fostering false illusions.

Written by August Strindberg – one of the major pioneers of modern drama, it deals with issues that are only too contemporary.

You’ll like it if… you like to think. If you like to question not only the world and others around you but first and foremost – yourself – what drives you to act the way you do? If you like to project your experiences onto the characters on stage, to compare and reflect upon the causes and effects.

You should see it because… All of us are trapped in our own minds, within the confines of our worldview that determines how we see the world.

Theatre allows for an opportunity to escape this entrapment – if only for a short while – to see, understand and compare different worldviews, different modes of being – and the results to which they might lead.

The Pelican, in the essence, is about this inability – even more so – an unwillingness to understand how someone else perceives the world and the tragic effects this blindness inevitably leads to.

Anything else we should know…: Director Saulius Kovalskas: “Strindberg, influenced by Swedenborgian philosophy, mercilessly dissected his own personality and experiences, exposing the timeless subconscious processes that govern our daily existence and expressing these invisible forces through concrete forms in this intimate household drama.

The main antagonistic force in this play isn’t any particular character – it’s the weaknesses and flaws that the humanity struggles to overcome on a daily basis: from pleasuring themselves with flattering illusions – to inventing endless justifications that enable the avoidance of responsibility – to falling prey to liberating belief of victimhood and through the self-proclaimed martyrdom becoming the executioners of others.”

Where to follow:
Twitter: @ChalkRootsTC
Facebook: @ChalkRootsTC
Instagram: @chalkrootstheatre
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/574112013172636

Book here: https://yati.corsizio.com

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Quick Q&A: Vessel

Where and when: Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, London E15 1BX 26, 27 March 7pm

What it’s all about… Vessel is a play about choice, about rebelling and of course about women. I began writing Vessel in 2014 when the idea of Irish women having the right to choice seemed almost impossible. Immediately after the vote on abortion in Ireland I redeveloped it for an Edinburgh run and the ‘Vessel‘ that goes on tour has been redeveloped to not just provoke new conversations or to document that Irish referendum but to ask why we needed a referendum in the first place.

You’ll like it if… Anyone interested in feminist, female led, funny and powerful work, and of course if you like Irish dramas. Vessel is very ‘Irish’ in the sense that it combines humour and drama. The characters are forced to find laughter because their situation is so epic.

You should see it because… Vessel‘s lead character, Maia, starts out on a journey to get abortion after it has been legalised in Ireland but by the end of the play she is forced to ask much more complex questions like why we don’t have equality yet? Who has the power? And who has the right to take it?

Anything else we should know…: I am the great grandniece of soldier and politician Michael Collins, who fought for Ireland’s independence and brokered the peace treaty with the United Kingdom so Ireland and its political structures really inform the show.

I worked with some amazing people on Vessel. Bryony Kimmings who also co-wrote the hit film Last Christmas mentored me with it before the Edinburgh run, the Olivier award winning company Fishamble and award winning playwright Sonya Kelly developed the show with me in the Everyman in Cork.

Where to follow:
Website: www.lwok.co.uk
Twitter: @vesselplay @LauraWOK

Book here: https://stratford-circus.com/event/vessel

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Quick Q&A: Tell It Slant

Where and when: Hope Theatre, 25 Feb-14 Mar, 19.45

What it’s all about… Tell It Slant is a (black) romantic comedy about what happens in a press office when a crisis hits, how people react (or don’t), the choices they make and the stories they choose to tell about what’s gone wrong and why.

With a gender-switch built into the script, as the actors playing the central couple swap roles, changing our sense of the show and how the story unfolds with every performance.

You’ll like it if… If you’ve ever wondered how the news gets made, how a story spirals out of control, or how social media can drive a crisis, Tell It Slant will give you a brand new perspective. If you liked the Thick of It or His Girl Friday, you will like Tell It Slant.

You should see it because… Tell It Slant gives you an insight into every crisis, every news story that’s ever blown-up across your twitter feed, that you won’t get anywhere else. Knowing how the news happens and how people react to it, how stories are framed and told, underpins many of the most complicated problems we all face.

And it’s also fun, funny and a little bit sexy. There’s also that.

Anything else we should know…: Tell It Slant is Maev Mac Coille’s debut production. She has previously been longlisted for the Papatango, Verity Bargate and Bread & Roses playwriting awards, and nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. She has had short plays performed at Theatre503, the Arcola (Miniaturists), Hackney Showrooms, Camden People’s Theatre, and the White Bear.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @MerrySpinsters (also @maevmac – writer – and @EricaTheatre – producer)
Facebook: @merryspinsters
Instagram: @ merryspinsters

Book here: https://www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/tell-it-slant/

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Quick Q&A: This Queer House

Where and when: VAULT Festival 2020 | 27th Feb – 1st March; 16:30 and 19:45 | Network Theatre

What it’s all about… A young queer and non-binary couple, Leah and Oli, inherit a house and seize at the chance to acquire a dream. A joint renovation project begins. A house gathers strength…

You’ll like it if… you like daring work that blends together music and spoken word and movement, that turns queer theory into chaotic drama, that finds new ways to speak about gender.

You should see it because… it gets weird and wonderful. As the young queer couple try to make a home for themselves, the very house they are in begins to grow restless…

Anything else we should know…: This Queer House is an exciting collaboration between award-winning poet Oakley Flanagan and the multi-disciplinary OPIA Collective, a group of female and LGBTQIA+ artists.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @OpiaCollective
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/429035324672650/ 
Instagram: @opiacollective

Book here: https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/this-queer-house/

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Quick Q&A: Paper Straws

Where and when: VAULT Festival 21st-23rd February

What it’s all about…Meet Joe, Lou and Martha: three people brought up through the ‘Life Raft’ system, a scheme that re-homes children from places deemed unliveable because of the changing climate. Now as adults, they each have very different relationships to how climate change has shaped their identities. One day they get a calling: it’s time to step up and do something. Part family drama. Part surreal comedy. Full climate crisis.

You’ll like it if… you like the idea of a climate thriller crossed with a choose your adventure covered with a sprinkle of gameshow glitz and a guest appearance from the Lord Almighty.

You should see it because… it’s grappling with the big questions around what we should all be doing about the climate crisis and there is no better time for us all to be having this conversation. Plus it’ll be fun!

Anything else we should know…: It’s a work in progress. So we want to know what you think. We’ll be asking our audience to help us make the show bigger and better. So come chat to us after the show or fill out a feedback form.

Where to follow:
Hashtag: #PAPERSTRAWSplay
Website: www.pearshapedtheatre.co.uk/
Twitter: @pearshapedplays
Facebook: @pearshapedplays
Instagram: @pearshapedplays

Book here: https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/paper-straws/

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