Celebrating 10 years of Space Productions
Three men talk feminism as Space Productions marks 10 years of plays with The Castle by Howard Barker
S pace Productions is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year - and what better way to mark the occasion than with a play about women being in charge and realising they have no use for men? Howard Barker’s The Castle takes the audience back to Britain during the time of the Crusades, where in the absence of men, a new way of life has emerged. No religion. No class. No hunger.
The play begins on a rainy day in middle England when ruler Stucley returns home from war to find his land untended, his sheep wild and his wife in bed with a witch.
Furious and wanting to return everything back to how it was, he orders the erection of a castle (phallic symbol intended) in a desperate bid to revive his old way of life.
Religion, ideology and sex battle it out in this brutally funny and hopelessly tragic modern classic. We met Nick Pearse (Batter), Anthony Cozens (Stucley) and artistic director of The Space Adam Hemming just ahead of the show’s opening night on Tuesday, October 10. Nick said: “Batter – Stucley’s right hand man – has been away for seven years and done truly awful things and when he comes back everything has changed. Women have found they managed just fine without men around and have formed lesbian relationships – men are now just used for procreation.
“It’s really unsettling for him, so he sets out to get it back to how it used to be. There are some really awful things he says in the play but ultimately you have to believe the character you’re playing exists - I have to make it that I actually believe I’ve done those things.”
Anthony adds: “Honestly my brain hurts. It’s incredibly draining being in that character just for rehearsals, so let’s hope we make it to the show.
“It’s a fantastic play. With all Barker’s work it’s set within a realistic framework, but then there are jarring elements throughout.
“For instance we have a sound effect that doesn’t quite work within the time of the crusades - as you suddenly hear a jet fly overhead in the middle of the play.”
Nick added: “Underneath it all it’s a funny piece. There are some really interesting themes running through it. It’s a strongly feminist play too – women are ruling and they don’t need men anymore.”
Adam added: “The great thing
Women have found they managed just fine without men who are just used for procreation Nick Pearse who plays Batter
with the play – and why I thought we should bring to The Space for the 10th anniversary show – is there are so many relatable elements with things going on at the moment.
“The idea of building a castle made me think of Trump wanting to build a wall - and how Stucley comes back and finds everything he knew had changed – that reminded me of waking up to find we’d voted Brexit.”
The production plays at The Space in Westferry Road from October 10-28, with shows starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are from £10.
Anthony Cozens (Stucley) works out some frustration on fellow cast member Matthew Brett (Nailer) as they explore Barker’s characters
Nick Pearse rehearses the role of Batter as opening night for The
Castle at The Space approaches on October 10