THE BURN, PULVÉRISÉS, LE CHAT and THE FORBIDDEN PLANET

The Pulverised
PULVERISED at the Arcola Theatre, London 2017, (photo © Tristram Kent)

When an 8-hour work day isn’t the norm…

PULVÉRISÉS
(English title: PULVERISED)
Alexandra Badea
2 F / 2 M
Drama
French original text, English translation

“Stop the rat race. Stop time. Stop the money. Stop the anxiety. Stop everything that has made human beings so bitter.”

A quality assurance officer from France, a call centre manager from Senegal, a factory worker from China, and an engineer from Romania. Each leads a life apart, but all work round-the-clock for the same multinational corporation.
When work has no borders, what’s the cost? Alexandra Badea’s captivating drama is a powerful and disturbing portrait of globalisation and its far-reaching effects on our lives.

Winner of the 2013 Grand Prix de la littérature dramatique.

“Compelling and chilling… Badea skilfully skewers our frenetic globalised world in this powerful 90-minute drama” (Evening standard)

“A hard-hitting 90 minutes of theatre that should resonate with all who watch it” (Mind The Blog)

“A brutal but essential play” – Theatre Bubble “Excellent… Authentic and well-depicted” (Everything Theatre)

smallAlexandra Badea
ALEXANDRA BADEA (born in Romania in 1980) is a playwright and a stage -and film director. She has livet in France since 2003, and her 7 plays and 1 novel have all been written in French (Photo © Liova Jedlicki)


 

the_burn_steppenwolf

Pictured (L to R) Phoebe Gonzáles (Mercedes), Dyllan Rodrigues-Miller (Shauna), Birgundi Baker (Tara), Nina Ganet (Andi) and Erik Hellman (Erik) in Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ world premiere production of The Burn, written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Devon de Mayo. The Burn ran February 17 – March 10, 2018 in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre at 1650 N Halsted Street in Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Michael Brosilow.

In cyberspace no one can hear you scream!

THE BURN
Philip Dawkins
4 F / 1 M
Drama (mainly for a young audience with their parents)
English text

In internet slang to ‘burn’ someone is to make fun of or talk badly about them. So the title is quite appropriate for this youth theatre play about a group of 3 high school girls who bully a female classmate, while their teacher (a young man) tries to intervene, but with little luck. The bullied girl comes from a Christian fundamentalist family, and the teacher is an AA-member who used to dream of working in the theatre.
When a school production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ – directed by the teacher – forces all four girls together, tensions escalate and the initial online-bullying of the girl becomes harsh IRL-bullying, the classroom conflict turning into a witch-hunt as horrifying as the one described in Miller’s classic.
Towards the end of the play the tables are turned, and the bullied becomes the bully – and basic questions of good or bad, ethics or no ethics, God or godlessness are discussed in words as well as in dramatic action.

THE BURN is very well-written and all the characters (even the 3 class-room ‘witches’) are taken seriously by Dawkins – who seems to know the age group and their ways of expression well. The dialogue is smart (all 5 characters are bright and eloquent in each their way), and full of internet abbreviations (‘BFD’, ‘OMG’ etc.) that are supposed to be spoken out loud. Many scenes mix real ‘life’ situations with internet chat, and some dialogues are musically cut-up – so that one character for instance may have a conversation with two other characters at the same time, or at least overlapping.

A clever and moving play for younger audiences – and occasionally quite funny, too.

“‘ The Burn’ powers past clichés to expose the limits of privacy, free speech and even honesty itself” (Stage and Cinema)

Philip Dawkins
PHILIP DAWKINS (photographed by Nicole Radja) is an established theatre artist in Chicago, where he teaches playwriting at three different universities. He has received a great number of awards for his plays, of which many have been written for young audiences.


 

lechat_book_cover
Cover of the French 2007-print of LE CHAT
(Work number 14321 © Livre de Poche)

Scary! Funny! Absurd!

LE CHAT
(English title ’The Cat’)
By Blandine Stintzy and Christian Lyon
from the novel by Georges Simenons
1 F / 1 M
Crime drama (with elements of black comedy)
French original text, English translation

The story of an elderly married couple in their early 70s, who have been loathing each other for years for killing each other’s pets. They have not been talking, their only form of communication being occasional notes on scraps of paper. However, they are soon to understand that they cannot live without each other. The two characters somewhat resemble those of Samuel Beckett’s ENDGAME.
The Belgian master of crime, Georges Simenon, painted in his novel LE CHAT from 1967 a portrait of two people who have only married out of fear of loneliness – and he lets us watch them until the bitter end.
The action of the play takes place during several years, and the writers elegantly cross-cut between three periods of Marguerite’s and Emilie’s marriage: Their first time together, then the ‘era of bitterness’ – and finally ‘the cold war’! With an ending even darker than any of Beckett’s – or in any book by Simenon for that matter.

“Shockingly good acting! Two human souls are laid bare in front of us” (Le Figaro Magazine)

“A very successful adaptation of the novel by Simenon – crowned by two charismatic actors” (Culture-tops)

The novel was filmed in France in 1971, with Jean Gabin and Simone Signoret in the main parts.

georges_simeon
Georges Simenon, (photo © Victor Diniz)

Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was a Belgian author, writing in French. He is mainly known for his 75 novels and 28 short stories about inspector Maigret. But apart from those he also authored at least 117 novels and 134 short stories under his own name, as well as almost 200 novels and 1000 short stories under different pseudonyms. In spite of the mainly cool reviews his books often received by the critics, Simenon is one of the most translated and read writers of the 20th Century.
His style of writing is extremely economical, devoid of literary finesse – but very clear and full of atmosphere. The prose of Simenon is distinguished by shockingly precise descriptions of the ‘naked’ human being – the being that becomes visible, when all masks have slipped.
Simenon lived a wandering life, having lived in no less than 33 countries at the time of his death.


 

04-ariel-full-set-b
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, Hessle Theatre Company, Hull 2014,
(Foto @ John Drury)

RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET
Bob Carlton (UK)
Inspireret af filmen “Forbidden Planet”, med venlig tilladelse fra Turner Entertainment Co.
7 D / 4 H (+ kor)
Musical
Engelsk originaltekst, dansk oversættelse
Solgt til opførelse i Sverige

En forrygende og respektløs musical med den bedste musik fra rockens barndom. Forlægget er b-sciencefiction-filmen ”Forbidden Planet” fra 1956, der selv havde Shakespeares ”Stormen” som forlæg, og den gamle mesters blankvers skinner da også igennem i replikkerne.
Handlingen tager sin begyndelse ved optagelserne til det 278. afsnit af rum-sæbeoperaen “Kaptajn Tempest på nye rum-eventyr”: Vores heltes rumskib nødlander på planeten D’Illyria, der er beboet af den skumle videnskabsmand, dr. Prospero, hans underskønne datter, Miranda, en trofast robot på rulleskøjter ved navn Ariel – og desuden et uregerligt monster, fremmanet af Prosperos underbevidsthed – med fangarme, der gennemborer rumskibet!

RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET anses for at være teaterhistoriens første ’jukebox-musical’ og er pakket med rock ’n roll-klassikere som ’Heard it Through the Grapevine’, ‘Young Girl’, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Wipe Out’ og ‘Gloria’.
Den originale London-opsætning vandt en Olivier Award for Bedste Musical i 1989.

Anmelderne har bl.a. skrevet om tidligere opsætninger af værket:

– “Det bedste rock ’n roll-show i byen… Man kan umuligt lade være med at grine ad de dødsforagtende ordspil… og måden, hvorpå sangene er integreret i handlingen forekommer fuldstændig logisk” (Daily Express)
– “Gør jer klar til at danse mellem stolerækkerne”. (Time Out)
– “Kitchet, campet, respektløst – ganske enkelt en fryd… Et kult-hit”. (Daily Mail)

Göteborgsoperan har premiere på RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET den 15. marts 2019.

BOB CARLTON

Bob Carlton blev født i Coventry, England, i 1950. Han begyndte sin karriere som scenetekniker og siden som instruktørassistent på forskellige teatre i midt-England. Fra 1979 til 1984 var han kunstnerisk leder af London Bubble Theatre Company, der spillede i et cirkustelt – og det var bl.a. her, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET så dagens lys. Derefter helligede han sig TV-arbejde, som bl.a. inkluderede instruktion af 40 afsnit af soap-operaen ’Brookside’. 1997-2014 var Bob Carlton kunstnerisk leder af Queen’s Theatre i det østlige London, hvis publikumstal og økonomi han fik vendt fra skrantende til imponerende godt. Af andre nævneværdige værker af Bob Carlton bør nævnes FROM A JACK TO A KING (Macbeth med Elvis-sange), YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE (en musical om Liverpool-fodboldfans), KEEP ON RUNNING (en rock ’n roll-musical-udgave af Carmen sat i Londons ’swinging sixties’) samt en lang række vildt populære juleshows for Everyman Theatre i Liverpool. I 2014 trak Carlton sig tilbage fra chefjob og instruktøropgaver for at hellige sig sin forfattervirksomhed. Han døde efter kort tids sygdom i januar 2018, 67 år gammel.