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Walkouts and rows in the stalls as politics enters Theatreland stage left – or maybe right | Vanessa Thorpe

Walkouts and rows in the stalls as politics enters Theatreland stage left – or maybe right | Vanessa Thorpe

Walkouts and rows in the stalls as politics enters Theatreland stage left – or maybe right | Vanessa Thorpe
Mar 02, 2024 1 min, 10 secs

Even without the alarm sounded over this plan, playwright Jeremy O Harris’s strident work will fit right into a London Theatreland that is shifting somewhat in the direction of a radical agenda, if not actually taking up the cudgels with the establishment.

A mention of Palestine during last week’s British premiere of the harshly satirical German play Nachtland wrung cries from members of the Young Vic audience.

It was a glimmer of just the kind of “uncomfortable moment” aimed at by Patrick Marber, director of this new play by Marius von Mayenburg that tackles the scarcely buried legacy of antisemitic prejudice in Berlin.

In 'A Mirror', theatrical sleight of hand gives the audience a taste of how it might feel to lose some liberties under an oppressive regime Only a few days earlier, Matt Smith attacked the famous campaigning role of Dr Stockmann in a modern-day version of Henrik Ibsen’s AnEnemy of the People, a play whose plot is commonly assumed to be the basis of Peter Benchley’s Jaws and the inspiration for the film.

It is a trend also marked by recent punchy revivals of Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, starring Lily Allen.

Kitchen-sink plays spawned that eye-opening 1966 TV classic about homelessness, Cathy Come Home, and Mr Bates vs the Post Office has now pricked the conscience of a government.

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