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Theatre highlights for 2018

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Issue 2585
The Flying Lovers is based on the life of painter Marc Chagall
The Flying Lovers is based on the life of painter Marc Chagall

The Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art, signed by French writer André Breton and Mexican painter Diego Rivera was published in 1938.

The Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is also believed to be one of its authors.

The Manifesto argues for “complete freedom for art” and asserts that “true art” expresses “the inner needs” of humanity.”

Good theatre productions start from what Trotsky called “the law of art”—the free expression of the human spirit. And not from unambiguous political point making.

The following shows could live up to that ambition.


In The Encounter by Complicité (Barbican, London, 15 April to 5 May) uses solo performance and extraordinary sound technology. They combine to evoke the real life meeting of an American photographer and an isolated Amazonian tribe.

It is one of the most impressive productions in recent years.

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (touring England, 17 January to 5 May) is by Cornwall-based company Kneehigh. It is a beautiful evocation of the life of the painter Marc Chagall.

The late Scottish poet Edwin Morgan’s version of the French classic Cyrano de Bergerac (touring Scotland, 1 September to 11 November) will be staged for the National Theatre of Scotland by the outstanding director Dominic Hill.

Finally, Girls & Boys (Royal Court, London, 8 February to March 10) is the latest play by Dennis Kelly, author of the excellent After the End. Expect an intense and disquieting drama of human relations.

Mark Brown


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