Boris Johnson winning a winter election couldn’t have come at a better time for Mike Bartlett and his London debut of Snowflake at the Kiln Theatre. Aptly titled one might say to fit Bartlett’s flare for goading the political discourse du jour. Though generational tension bubbles away, the title doesn’t live up to the boomer vs millennial hostility one might have expected, if that’s what you’re after just log on to Twitter.
We’re all familiar with the biblical tale of Adam and Eve; the first human beings to inhabit the Earth and reside in the Garden of Eden. A creation myth that has inspired many, its moral compass lay in the fact that consequences are embedded within the actions we decide to carry out daily and in turn, having to live by the choices we’ve made.
The elephant in the room is the elephant in the room, I just wish the well thought out comments of prejudice and misconceptions hadn’t played second fiddle to story-telling and romance.
Three sisters lie broken and devastated, a body limp stage left, and the cry of an African song rings out as the final call of a martyr, Inua Ellams’ complete reconstruction of the Chekhov classic leaves a lot of very uncomfortable questions hanging over the stage.
Knut Hamsun’s novel Hunger over a century ago would give way to a new style of writing, writing based more so on the psychological well being of a protagonist. Originally based in Oslo, a nameless protagonist finds himself gradually spiralling into a world of deprivation and hunger, his very generosity now causing him to scrounge for food, this in turn having a significant impact on his physical and mental health. What’s concerning is that this tale of homelessness and poverty draws a parallel to our very own modern society; according to Crisis UK, in 2018 an estimated ‘57,890 households were accepted as homeless in England. In Scotland, 34,100 applications were assessed as homeless and in Wales 9,210 households were threatened with homelessness.’ A sign of our times, Hunger resonates as much today as it did in the 19th century. An adaptation of Hamsun’s pivotal novel is currently showing at the Arcola Theatre, with actor Kwami Odoom taking on the lead role; The Young Man. Kwami tells us more about the show.
Divisions within society have started to rise to the surface post 2016; tensions revolving around multiculturalism, community, social cohesion and social mobility, issues we all find ourselves addressing introspectively as well as discussing out in the open. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s A Kind of People delves into the lives of various people within modern British society, exploring societal inequalities that impact on the lives of many. As we approach the new decade, we find ourselves confronting many truths, conversations that are vital to improving lives and pushing society forward. Ahead of the show’s opening at The Royal Court from 5th December, Gurpreet tells us more about the show.
Once every few years, a show will arrive on the London stage which genuinely warrants the description “must see”, a show which asks fundamental questions about the act of theatre itself; what it can be, and what it should be.