1. Who has ridden a horse, bareback, smelt it, felt its muscles and sweat and looked into its large brown eyes?
2. What is “normal”?
Once our relationship with animals was integral to survival and transport and a strong connection with animals was normal. We now all hurtle around in various forms of mechanised metal boxes and cylinders, quite removed from the amazing animals that were once essential to daily life. Now an encounter with a horse, with any beast of burden really, has gone. They are quite exotic for most people and in many cases, objects of fear.
Peter Shaffer wrote EQUUS after reading a newspaper report about a 17 year old boy who blinded six horses with a hoof pick, using it to create a fictional account of what might have caused the incident and along the way explore the opposing forces of rational thought and ecstasy or passion.
Terrorism – the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. This highly emotive noun evokes strong responses in our current political climate and Stooged Theatre’s production of Vanessa Bates CHECKLIST FOR AN ARMED ROBBER resonates with the passions and desperate thinking that hurtles individuals and groups into extreme acts of aggression. What does it take to motivate individuals and groups to perform acts of terror involving innocent and unwilling victims?
Set in October 2002, the script was inspired by newspaper stories: one, known as the Nord-Orst siege, where an Islamist Chechen group took over 800 theatre patrons at the Debrovka theatre in Moscow for 3 days, demanding Russian troops leave Chechnya and end the war. The other was an attempted robbery of a single young female shop assistant in a bookshop in Newcastle. Continue reading Checklist for an Armed Robber – Stooged Theatre→
The first recorded performance of The Merchant of Venice was 10th February 1605. The themes of racial and religious hatred, money, marriage and mercy all still reverberate as soundly today as they did in 1605.
The context has undoubtedly changed; the 17th century fission between Christianity and Judaism resonates far less today, but the cold war between two powerful men of money is as fresh and smelly as it has ever been.
STOOGED THEATRE has presented a production that breathes new life into this classic text. With a few theatrical tweaks and contemporary references, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE becomes a media savvy play about money and politics and taking down your political opponents using the law as your weapon. Random pen drops on a newspaper will supply any number of current examples to support that theme.