Author Topic: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre  (Read 5727 times)

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greekemmy

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Re: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2012, 01:46:24 AM »
The theatre was packed, albeit about 60-70 people was all that you could fit in, it was such a tiny theatre, more like a room.

The play was upsetting.

This was partly because of its content and proximity to the stage, (for example it was sickening to see the treatment of the Bradley Manning character arriving on stage in wet clothes and a black bag over his head, been pushed to the ground and humiliated - the shouting) partly because of frustration about the inaccuracies of bits that resembled the facts as we know them but actually they are slightly changed in the play and therefore become inaccurate, whole dialogues that you know are fictional but still you don't like them...  but also the references to JA's private life (about his mother and son) were to me an uneccessary invasion of his privacy and purely for over dramatising the story on the emotional level.

Not the greatest script in the world, it packs in so much material, so many different stories, just put together with little connection that sometimes you feel you are in a high school production. Some of the characters like the Obama character appear almost as a caricature, not enough substance has been put in it.

The Julian Assange character too was poorly written I think. I found at times I could not even look at the guy. Sorry, find a different script Mr Weller...

The actors put their best foot forward. Some of them did particularly well in embracing their roles and although I could have spent my time more creatively elsewhere I thought that as thespians they did their job well and deserved an applause. Also with 14 pounds a ticket and just over 60 ppl for audience they were hardly in it for the money. I spared a thought on how they paid for their tickets to come over from Australia and goodness knows where they are spending their night on such low budget... it could not have been viable if they relied on the box office takings alone, that's for sure, but..thankfully for them though they will not be spending their night neither in a cell, nor with an electronic monitor around their leg.

Did I think this play was in the service of anti wikileaks propaganda? no I did not. Maybe though the newspapers will put such twist on the coverage of the play. I don't know.

Before it started, I went round offering free WL hourglass badges to the people around the bar area waiting for the doors to open. "Would you like a free WikiLeaks badge?" "It adds to the debate..." "no I am not with WikiLeaks, I am a supporter..."I could not say I had the chance to ask everyone but most people I asked were happy to have one, 35 little WL buttons found a new home in ppl's hands and pockets, and I left the rest at the bar for any one else to help themselves. Considering 35 was probably more than half the audience, I think WL is doing pretty well in goodwill and even amongst the ppl who did not take up the offer (this is Britain after all ppl hardly talk to strangers let alone accept a gift), were courteous, only one could not look me in the eye.

Anyway, it is done and dusted, for me at least...
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 12:32:18 PM by isis »

themillieblog

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Re: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2012, 08:03:15 AM »
Wow awesome review Greekemmy!


Flavia

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Re: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2012, 14:27:54 PM »
you never miss the chance emmy! good idea spreading WL's items to the audience :-) as to Weller, he hasn't  JA's charisma but he studied the role carefully and contacted even Christine Assange...we
can't demand more from an actor :-)

greekemmy

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Re: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2012, 15:29:39 PM »
Yes Flavia, my words were hardly generous. You are right, you cannot copy and paste a person and it is not fair to expect so and I thought I didn't. But, also I am not a theatre critic to distance myself and give a fair assessment. I think the writer is brave to attempt to capture this story but I find myself for once, an awkward  customer ;) unwilling to be pleased, and it was mainly the script I was unhappy about rather than the actors. In general I think actors are to be celebrated.

Maybe in a few days I will be able to give a more balanced opinion on this... I certainly do not regret going and it has been an excellent topic to discuss today at home and of course here.

For more comments on the play you can visit "theatre503" on twitter, or: #ManintheMiddle, many happy customers and different perspectives.


Flavia

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Re: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 13:02:54 PM »
and here it is...an other good review  :)

http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/tag/darren-weller/

greekemmy

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Re: WikiLeaks play set to make debut at Battersea theatre
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2012, 14:47:13 PM »
Thanks Flavia for the link, indeed I think this review is the most honest and fair so far. Reading this new review, I found myself in agreement with the following:

"Amy Marston is a particular example of a mutli-cast actor whose presence and character were excellently conceived. Equally, Jonathan Coote stood out as a grounding force within the production."

The fact is that since this is a wiki play and will be reviewed as time goes by hopefully, at some point or the other it might in fact reach maturity and actually hit its target, get it right so to speak.

But there is also another opinion circulating around my ears at home: "Come on Emmy, this is a part-time project, the guy is a GP, give him some credit for his efforts... he is trying to tell a story" refering to the writer...hmmmm... no no no I will not concede in this and reserve my right to be knowingly difficult ;)