A DEBUT SAVAGED
BY THE CRITICS Zombie circus to stumble into town Russian opera to perform Rigoletto
do it and trust what Kane is saying with the script.”
There are three characters in Blasted, Ian, a journalist for a Yorkshire newspaper, Cate, a young woman who appears to be in some sort of relationship with Ian. They are in a hotel room in Leeds when, at an audacious point in the script, the walls are blown off and a soldier enters the room. They are then in a war-torn country and the soldier enters the fray.
Marquez says: “It’s really difficult to explain it to people, which is why the programme seems so vague – it says something like ‘a man and a woman are in a hotel room, suddenly there is a knock at the door and their world turns upside down’.” Which is, essentially, what happens. But what about the other stuff, the violence that made some people physically retch and many more leave the theatre on the play’s debut?
“She wanted to write a play about rape, which is what she was doing, but then she became affected by the war in Croatia and wanted to address that,” he says. “So she did the thing that I think all great artists do and she experimented with the form and used a dramatic device that hadn’t been seen before. She kept the characters in the same time frame but just moved the locations.
“It allowed her to talk about some of the horrific things that happen in the world, both in the world around us and in places that we think are unconnected to us, that we don’t have to face every day.”
Since its initial critical mauling, Blasted has been revisited, restaged and many opinions have been revised – not least the opinion of what Kane was doing with the play. The first draft was something of a beast and it was whittled over several years until she had a script that was more white space than black lines on the page.
Wilson says: “Yes, she is commenting on the rape camps of Srebrenica and the violence that happens around the world that we don’t have in our faces every day. For me one of the most fascinating aspects of the play is the relationship between Ian and Cate and what exactly is happening there (it remains ambiguous).” Similarly, Marquez thinks there is much below the violence. “It’s about how there can be love sometimes in the most brutal of situations. It’s about a lot of things.”
There is one final question, about which there is no coyness. I ask it of Marquez.
Is it a feast of filth or a work of genius? “Work of genius. No question.” THE Circus of Horrors is heading to Yorkshire’s east coast.
Night of the Zombie is set in London, 2020, which is plagued by zombies and bizarre circus acts are ruled by the undead.
The show includes sword swallowers, knife throwers, daredevil balancing acts, fire limboing acrobats and a flaming apocalypse.
The show has already appeared on TV including X Factor and The One Show – and also alongside Robbie Williams.
You can see the show at Scarborough Spa on March 17. For tickets call the box office on 01723 821888. A RARELY-PERFORMED operatic masterpiece is set for the region.
Verdi’s opera Rigoletto is a tragic tale of misunderstanding, revenge and sacrifice.
This visually stunning new production has a live orchestra of over 30 musicians and is brought to you by the Russian State Ballet and Opera House, who have been presenting ballet and operas to audiences for over 13 years.
Rigoletto will be performed at Victoria Theatre in Halifax on February 28.
For tickets call the box office on 01422 351158.