Daniel Raggett’s adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice is presented at the Gate Theatre as a type of voyeuristic experience for the audience.
I am still unsure whether I like or loathe this play. I am unsure whether it liberates women, or entraps them. I am unsure whether the play is a genius meditation on motherhood, knowingly referencing Ancient Greek tragedy, or merely an over-laboured attempt to do so. I am certain that I hate moments of Magali Mougel’s new script (translated by Chris Campbell), which is turgid and over-written at points, but that Jean-Pierre Baro’s direction combined with Caoilfhionn Dunne’s performance to create moments of theatrical brilliance. I guess everything comes full-circle, as the play itself illuminates.
Nina Segal’s experimental new work, In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises), explores the trials of two new parents unable to stem their newborn’s tears. Taking place over a single night, the couple grow increasingly desperate as the baby’s shrieks ring out. Sleep deprived and frantic, they’re soon contemplating the very morality of bringing new life into this world, and begin entertaining apocalyptic fantasies.
Who could have predicted that the story of Medea could be so playful, energetic and a barrel of laughs? Centred on Medea’s children, Jasper and Leon, this piece is set in a kids bedroom which you get to explore when taking your seats within the theatre. As these two cheeky chappies run around the space, firing toy guns and talking to their pet fish, one finds themselves drawing upon their own childhood.
Civil War: A war between citizens of the same country… Imagine living in a country torn by the continual feeling of political unrest? Separated from your family, as rebels and the government team up and enlist family members of innocent civilians to fight against the ruling political power. In 1999, Liberia witnessed a second civil war, and by 2003, witnessed the dwindling of their 22nd Liberian President, Charles Taylor’s political reign.
Written by award winning actress and playwright, Danai Gurira, Eclipsed is a production that amplifies the female voice. Set in Liberia, in 2003 during the Civil War, 5 women find their worlds colliding as they are uprooted from their homes and placed on a rebel army base. As the war wages on, can they all put all of their differences aside? Set to play at the Gate Theatre from Thursday 23rd April, actress Joan Iyiola steps into the role of Bessie. Ahead of the production, Theatrefullstop are lucky enough to speak to Joan about the importance of focusing on the female voice, whether there are any similarities between Bessie and herself and why she was drawn to the production.
Hi Joan, it’s lovely speaking with you again! You’ll be starring in Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed at the Gate Theatre from Thursday 23rd April, how are you feeling ahead of the first show?
Nervous! But excited to move into the theatre and share what we have made.
The show Idomeneus has its UK Premier at the Gate Theatre, opening on June 19th. It has been directed by Gate Associate Artist Ellen McDougall. I spoke to cast member Alex Austin about the show and his career…
You are currently working on Idomeneus at the Gate’s Head Theatre, how are the rehearsals going?
Its good thank you, we’re in the fourth week of rehearsals, getting ready to get in to tech for next week. There’s been a lot of exploring and that but it’s going good.
How would you describe the overall rehearsal process?
It’s very ensemble focused. We spent the first two weeks working very closely with the director, Ellen (McDougall) and the design team. They’ve been in rehearsals for a lot of the time so we’ve been working very closely as a group creating the language of the play, which flips between narrating and characters. It’s exciting it’s the UK premiere and it’ll be wicked to be a part of that!