Theatre

The life of Rachel Corrie

Robin Sivapalan reviews My Name Is Rachel Corrie, now showing at the Playhouse Theatre London

It is three years since American International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel was deliberately ploughed down by an Israeli Defence Force bulldozer in Gaza while trying to stop Palestinian houses from being demolished. The ISM have now disbanded. Palestinian homes are still being demolished. And Rachel Corrie’s diaries have been adapted into a performance monologue.

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Migrant Voices

Migrant Voices is a play which explores the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in 21st century Britain. Based on in-depth interviews with Iraqi Kurds living in Salford, the show combines live music, drama and video to depict some of the harsh realities behind the media myths.

It shows people who have fled their homes to escape torture and persecution only to find themselves the victims of racist abuse and intimidation, with insecure and badly paid jobs and substandard housing. It also looks at the causes of the global instability that makes people into refugees.

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Migrant Voices play - 8 June - Newcastle - FREE

Please forward to anyone who may be interested:

FREE theatre performance, Banner Theatre company's
MIGRANT VOICES - Thurs 8 June - 7pm
Moorside School, Beaconsfield St, Arthurs Hill, Newcastle

Hosted by Newcastle City Unison

More info contact:
Ed Whitby Campaigns officer (ed.whitby@workersliberty.org)

Migrant Voices: Touring in 2006

Migrant Voices explores the real-life experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in twenty-first century Britain – how they got here, why they came, and what they have found here.

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The myths of Jesus

Gerry Bates reviews The Pauline Conspiracy by Peter Burton

The history of Christianity is irretrievably myth-ridden. Little is known about Jesus as a historical figure. The early Christians had as little scruples as later Stalinists about inventing things they thought would serve their cause. Surmises, more or less plausible, can be made, but only surmises. Karl Kautsky and others surmised that the myth-cocooned biblical Jesus might in reality have been a Jewish nationalist rebel against the Romans.

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Arthur Miller (1915–2005).

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Pat Yarker

Fifteen years ago I went to see a production of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” at the Young Vic Theatre in London, where David Thacker was directing a number of Miller’s plays. At a time when Miller seemed to have been sidelined in his own country, his importance as a playwright of international standing was re-asserted on the English stage.

The work of the great leftist playwright

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Defend free speech

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s shameful decision before Christmas to cancel the play Behzti (Dishonour) was justified in the following way by Executive Director Stuart Rogers: “[Sikh] community leaders have been unable to guarantee to us that there will be no repeat of illegal and violent activities… we cannot guarantee the safety of our audiences… [W]e have decided to end the current run of the play on security grounds.”

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In defence of Behzti

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s shameful decision to cancel the play, Behzti (Dishonour), was justified in the following way by Executive Director Stuart Rogers: “[Sikh] community leaders have been unable to guarantee to us that there will be no repeat of the illegal and violent activites we saw on Saturday… we cannot guarantee the safety of our audiences… [W]e have decided to end the current run of the play on security grounds.”

A defence of the play Behzti.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The writing on the wall

  • Going bust for an education
  • We don't want your vote
  • BNP's new Euro-bigots
  • 'Left-wing' xenophobia
  • Bridges to nowhere



Going bust for an education

A record number of people are expected to declare themselves bankrupt this summer. Many of them will be students trying to get rid of their credit card, student loan and other debts. According to the Department for Education and Skills, 899 students and graduates became insolvent last year, compared with 276 in 2002.

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Majnoun

by Mehrdad Seyf, performed recently at the Riverside Studios

The 'majnoun' of the title is mad with love, and refers to an Iranian story something like 'Romeo and Juliet'. The play is about an Iranian woman living in Britain who has to make up her mind who to marry, her English fiancé or an Iranian friend. The play would appeal most to British and Iranian people who are in a British-Iranian relationship: regrettably, of limited appeal then!

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His Dark Materials

two plays adapted from books by Philip Pullman, and directed by Nicholas Hytner, showing at the National Theatre, London

His Dark Materials is a trilogy of novels. It was considered too complex for adaptation to the stage by some directors. That the National Theatre rose to such a challenge makes you wish them success, especially after they had to face down religious zealots in the teaching profession who denounced the production before it even opened. However, despite some excellent performances, and some truly magical staging and effects, the six-hour epic doesn't quite carry the power of the books.

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Banner Theatre on the miners' strike

The Banner Theatre company is touring with a production to mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1984/5 Miners Strike.

Entitled Burning Issues, it opens on Saturday 6 March, 1.30pm at the Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, as part of a day-long event with speakers: Tony Benn, Bob Crow (RMT), Andy Gilchrist (FBU), and "The Battle of Orgreave" film.

For advance bookings contact the Potteries Museum on 01782 232323 or

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How Farce Became Tragedy: 'Permanent Way'

a new play by David Hare

I saw this play about rail privatisation at Sheffield's Trades and Labour Club. It was refreshing to see a national theatre production taken out to an alternative venue. But I'm not sure how many of the audience on the night wouldn't have made it to the local theatre - a few maybe.

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Come Out Eli

'Come Out Eli', at the Arcola Theatre, Hackney, September 2003
Reviewed by Janine Booth

Last Christmas, police held gunman Eli Hall and his hostage under seige in a Hackney flat for 17 days. Graham Road was condoned off, lots of people's daily lives were affected, and most locals had something to say about it.

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No Sweat launches £2,000 appeal: Support Mexican workers' organisation

By Mick Duncan

Facing competition from China's new capitalists, the Mexican bosses are driving down wages, imposing ever poorer working conditions and constantly violating labour rights. Workers face long working hours, little or no health or safety guarantees, child labour, no freedom of association, and the violation of company Codes of Conduct.

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Bacchai

Irony has become so siamese-twinned with ‘post-modern’ that you fear to separate them would cause bleeding from heart and brain. It’s easy to forget it was the Greeks who started it. Euripides’ Bacchai (now playing at the National Theatre in a production by Peter Hall) is deeply, disturbingly ironic.

Hall’s use of traditional masks (criticised in many reviews for destroying the humanity of the piece) and the bare amphitheatre stage, for me, underlined the irony and the modern echoes.

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The Coast of Utopia: More People's Friend than People's Will

by Oona Swann

If there was a dramatic equivalent of Poet Laureate Tom Stoppard would be it. He can play wittily with complex intellectual ideas and serve up populist entertainment, like 'Shakespeare in Love', which is equally stuffed with knowing treats for the discerning.

I like his stuff. I don't mind his (Thatcherite) politics because it's dressed up so appetisingly. So when I hear he's writeen three linked plays around the lives of 19th century Russian revolutionaries, I expect something a bit special. Not that I expect to agree with him, more that if anyone can wittily dramatise the competing political currents then 'Clever Tom' would be the man.

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The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui

'The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui' by Bertholt Brecht, in a new translation by Andy de la Tour, directed by Phil Willmott, and playing until 24 August (2002) at the Bridewell Theatre, Bride Lane (off Fleet Street) London.

“There’s no spoon long enough to sup with you!”, Mayor Dogsborough shouts at Arturo Ui when Ui comes knocking on the door to blackmail him with guaranteed silence about Dogsborough’s corruption, in return for political support.

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Frozen

'Frozen' at the Cottesloe, National Theatre, London
until Saturday August 24th 2002

It helps to know what you’re watching. Maybe then I’d have my psychological armour in place and not be streaming tears just minutes into ‘Frozen’ at the National Theatre. But that’s what it’s like. Nobody is ever prepared for their child to be abducted, for the months possibly years of waiting and not knowing, for the small bones finally dug up from some outhouse to be identified as their child.

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