Chilcot, a documentary-style piece based on evidence to the inquiry with additional unheard material, and Last Resort, an exploration of enhanced interrogation techniques used in Guantanamo Bay, heads to The Lowry this May.
Last Resort, Fri 6 May – Sat 7 May
The Lowry presents the world premiere of Last Resort, performed in The Lowry’s scene dock – the space between the venue’s Lyric and Quays Theatres which is usually off-limits to the public. This multisensory theatrical experience invites the audience to stay in the Cuban holiday resort of Guantanamo Bay. Deckchairs and cocktail bars now stand on the site of the old military detention centre, in this imagined future.
The audience will sit in deck chairs, feel the sand between their toes and taste a Cuban cocktail, all to the soundtrack of hit songs which have been used to psychologically torture captives at the Guantanamo prison.
Last Resort asks the questions: How do we deal with terror suspects? How far would and should we go to protect ourselves from attack? Can we conceal the scars left on a tropical paradise after the waterboarding has stopped?
2Magpies Theatre has a solid academic background in international politics and has received critical acclaim for previous productions taking on doping scandals and state-sponsored assassination.
Director of Last Resort, Tom Barnes, MA in International Security and Terrorism, said:
“The research phase of this project has been fascinating, working with a number of experts who deal with questions around terrorism every day. Our development process is like a political inquiry, but rather than becoming an essay or report, it’s an hour long contemporary performance. Hopefully our audience will take something from this performance that they’ll never have found from reading a newspaper or watching a film.”
Last Resort is part of The Lowry’s Week 53 Festival – a major commissioning project for the venue. This eleven day festival will bring together contemporary dance, visual arts, music and theatre in interactive installations, exhibitions and performances. Week 53 will feature 63 performances and exhibitions created by more than 200 international artists.
Chilcot, Thu 26 – Sat 28 May
In the lead-up to the highly anticipated publication of the Chilcot inquiry this summer, award-winning documentary theatre company Lung collaborate with Guardian defence and security journalist Richard Norton-Taylor to present Chilcot at The Lowry.
Chilcot is based on evidence to the inquiry from leading political players such as Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Alistair Campbell and Head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller with added previously unheard material. This additional material gives testimonies from the forgotten voices of those who were not called at the inquiry, such as Iraqi refugees, veterans and military families.
Chilcot is edited by Richard Norton-Taylor, former editor of the Guardian’s defence and security column and winner of Liberty’s Human Rights Award for Journalism (2010). Richard, who has reported extensively on Iraq for over a decade, is also an award-winning playwright.
Chilcot builds on the style of the Tricycle Tribunal plays, seven of which were edited by Richard Norton Taylor, including Half the Picture (a dramatisation of the Scott Arms to Iraq Inquiry) which was the first play to be performed in the Houses of Parliament. These plays are verbatim reconstructions of public inquiries which seek to engage, inform and critique British and international politics.
In his opinion piece for the Guardian on Fri 22 April, 2016, Richard Norton-Taylor says;
“The publication of the Chilcot report, of more than 2 million words, four times the length of War and Peace, describing events that took place more than a decade ago, must not be the end of the affair. It must be digested and its findings debated.”
Chilcot is a bold and pertinent piece of documentary theatre exploring the accountability of those who have power over us.
Chilcot is co-produced by Lung and Battersea Arts Centre, developed with the support of the National Theatre’s New Work Department and is edited by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Fri 6 May – Sat 7 May
Times: Fri 7:30pm, 8:30pm
Thu 26 May – Sat 28 May
Tickets: £10.00 – £12.00