Socialist Worker

Two Plays for Gaza: a night to make people laugh, cry and rage at war

The playwrights David Wilson and Anne Aylor spoke to Socialist Worker about the Two Plays for Gaza event

Issue No. 2150

The original cast of The Trainer, including Corin Redgrave and Tim Pigott-Smith, perform the play at Oxford House in east London in March. Some of the cast will also appear at the Two Plays for Gaza event  (Pic: http://www.

The original cast of The Trainer, including Corin Redgrave and Tim Pigott-Smith, perform the play at Oxford House in east London in March. Some of the cast will also appear at the Two Plays for Gaza event (Pic: Absurdity

“Then they were all released without charge. This is all a gift for dramatists and is commented on in the play.

“We are constantly updating as things happen. We are not going to let any stupidity go uncommented on.”

Anne Aylor said, “The Trainer is a sly, satirical play about the absurdity of the terror laws. But it is also a very powerful and dramatic story about two people united by love.

“We are trying to look at the situation from a human level.

“Unlike David I’ve never been a political person, but I’ve always had a great sense of injustice. I am part Native American, and my relatives were on the ‘Trail of Tears’—the relocation of Native Americans in the US.

“I have always felt anger at injustice, such as the treatment of Native Americans, aborigines and others. I want to illuminate that anger for other people in an artistic way.”

David has a long history of opposition to wars, and using his writing to expose the madness of our rulers.

He said, “I have a personal hatred of all those who send people off to die in war. I was the co-founder of the War Child UK charity in the 1990s around the Yugoslav war.

“I became the director of the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar.

“It is necessary to fight against war with culture as well as with our feet.

“I have been writing plays since the late 1980s, when I wrote an anti-war play and after that a play about the poet Dylan Thomas.

“When we did a reading of The Trainer at Oxford House in March it was so successful that we had to turn people away. So we thought we should do it again.

“We hooked up with Caryl Churchill, decided to put on a joint thing, and gathered together some of the original cast from both plays to appear.”

Tony Benn will introduce the evening, which will feature actors Janie Dee, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Jana Zeineddine, Corin Redgrave, Kika Markham, Tim Pigott-Smith and others. Caryl Churchill will introduce Seven Jewish Children.

Renowned

Also appearing on the bill will be renowned Palestinian singer Reem Kelani, rap poet Lowkey and former SAS soldier Ben Griffin who will read from the Winter Soldier Investigation into the Vietnam war.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Stop the War Coalition and the Gaza Music School, which was destroyed by Israel’s onslaught.

The plays are the latest part of the wave of oppositional responses to the “war on terror” that has been seen in theatre over the past five years.

Anne said, “Two Plays for Gaza will be a fantastic, positive evening for everyone. It will be eclectic, dynamic, fun and moving. The Trainer made people laugh and cry during its reading in March. We hope to move people and make them think.”

Two Plays for Gaza is on at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8, 7.30pm, Thursday 21 May. To book tickets (£15) phone the box office on 020 8985 2424 or go to » www.hackneyempire.co.uk For more information go to » www.stopwar.org.uk


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Tue 5 May 2009, 18:31 BST
Issue No. 2150
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