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"I've listened to all the stories of my generation, then watched 'em get sick or fade away. And it wasn't this world that killed 'em. It was the other... the memory of it."
Britain, the near future. Much of the country is underwater and the government has been reduced to a group of fascist strongmen. In a rural outpost of the state, the men patrol the moors for illegals whilst the women run a self-sufficient farm to provide what all they need to survive. The living conditions are harsh, every meagre ration is grown from scratch and they must battle with inclement weather and a draconian government. As their numbers dwindle, they struggle to retain a semblance of civilisation in the face of the inevitable onset of global war.
Stark and imperative, but shot through with a sense of warm compassion, Beth Steel's debut play Ditch is a clear-eyed look at how we might behave when the conveniences of our civilisation are taken away, and a frightening vision of a future that could all too easily be ours.
Ditch is a brutal and uncompromising play, with a grounded, earthy sense of humanity. The result is both heart-rending and chilling, depicting a convincing, bleak vision of the future.
There's a big feeling of deja vu hanging over Labyrinth, a messy but nevertheless compelling new drama at Hampstead Theatre. Partly its the subject, namely the labyrinthine world of global finance in which American banks that have over-lent (whether, as here, to South American countries as in the financial crisis of the 1980s, or by selling sub-prime mortgages that... Instead, they get bailed out by the government -- and only add to their profits in the end as the loan cycle begins again. But its also the staging that's all too reminiscent of a Rupert Goold production -- it is probably no accident that its director Anna Ledwich is credited in the programme as having assisted him in the past. On the plus side, there's a similar dynamism to its propulsion, with actors racing around the stage as they negotiate its short, sometimes sharp scenes. On the other, it sometimes feels without purpose, as actors enter on one side of the stage and exit on the other without participating in the scene itself, only to add colour and movement to it. The playwright Beth Steel has certainly done her... It's an important subject, and a bracing and still urgent one -- but quite a lot of it also feels phoney, too. Maybe that's right: that's exactly what the bankers are as well. It was their false promises and palpable greed that leads to the crisis, after all. "The cast make the Mamet-like most of the zinging script, with assured work from Martin McDougall as the yo-yo spinning, boots-on-table bank exec, Elena Saurel as a canny economics journalist and a trio of Latin American government honchos played... "Beth Steel’s play about the 1980s Latin American debt crisis is staged with a hurtling energy that propels us through the intricacies of international banking. It may well be that the play is too much of a lesson, but it's one that patently can't be learnt too often. but for all its ambition Steel’s play doesn’t have quite enough freshness and vitality. Henry Hitchings for The Evening Standard. Source: www.londontheatre.co.uk
The playwright Beth Steel has certainly done her research -- a programme interview says she spent some 2 1/2 years writing the play -- but though it is packed with information, the dramatic pulse of it feels too frequently imposed and contrived, as a
Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Beth Steel's Labyrinth, a Hampstead Theatre commission. Directed by Anna Ledwich, this compelling new thriller explores the fallout from one of the most catastrophic economic crises of modern history,
Development is progressing at the former Beth Steel site as environmental remediation continues.… https://t.co/4bYY0dOAUV 10/05/16, @TheDundalkEagle
Development is progressing at the former Beth Steel site as environmental remediation continues.… https://t.co/7AtFJUXU1G 10/05/16, @NRodman_Eagle
RT @Beckenham_Girl: Went to see Labyrinth by Beth Steel @Hamps_Theatre yesterday. Brilliant production - go if you get a chance #HTLabyrinth 10/05/16, @Hamps_Theatre
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Stark and imperative, but shot through with a sense of warm humanity, Beth Steel's debut play Ditch is a clear-eyed look at how we might behave when the conveniences of our civilisation are taken away, and a frightening vision of a future that could all too easily be ours.
LABYRINTH, Beth Steel's third play, opened September 1st 2016 at the Hampstead Theatre on the main stage, directed by Anna Ledwich. WONDERLAND, Beth Steel's ...
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