National, 020 8237 1111
DAVID HARE’S new anti-war play takes the format of a Shakespearean history play. It’s a dramatic re-evaluation of events from the period leading up to 9/11 to the present day.
It deals with the complexities of the war for the ruling class. And, by exploring their decisions and divisions, the play refuses easy answers.
Bush is not portrayed as an idiot, and Blair is a convincing liberal imperialist. By giving a persuasive portrayal of both, the play forces you to analyse your own beliefs on the war.
It gives you views that you don’t expect from an anti-war play, and that makes the play stronger.
In the Shadow of a Gunman
Tricycle, 020 7328 3000
Set in a room in a tenement building in the 1920s, the play explores Ireland through the people of the house. It looks at the nature of conflict, and what effect it has on the civilians caught up in the daily violence.
Written by Sean O’Casey, this play is at times a very amusing look at the frustrations of living so crammed together.
With both conflict and the perception of truth at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, this play adds to the growing number that deal with the world after Iraq.
Riverside Studios, 020 7328 1000
This is a lighthearted look at the serious manipulation of those journalists embedded with the US army in Iraq, written by Hollywood rebel Tim Robbins.
The style is a TV channel stuck somewhere between the right wing news channel Fox and music channel MTV, all delivered with pace and rock anthems.
But the message is of 15 February 2003—global resistance.
This automated model, Tippoo’s Tiger, was plundered from India in the 18th century. The tiger, which is devouring a European, has a mechanical roar. Tipu Sultan led his armies against the British imperialists. They took Tipu’s two sons hostage to stop him launching any further rebellions. Tippoo’s Tiger is one of the exhibits on show in “Encounters: The Meeting of Europe and Asia 1500-1800”, running at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. See next week’s Socialist Worker for a full review.