Directed by: Steve Marmion and Max Roberts
Written by: Michael Chaplin, Zoe Cooper, Thomas Eccleshare, Alistair McDowall, Dylan Moran, Anthony Neilson, Janice Okoh, Simon Stephens
Other cast: Tobi Bakare, Laura Elphinstone, Rufus Hound, Pamela Miles and David Whitaker.
Venue: Live Theatre, Newcastle (until June 16), Soho Theatre, London (as of June 20)
Production dates: 20 June 2012 - 14 July 2012
Six characters in a world of blueprints search for Utopia. From spaceships and retirement homes, to political rallies and facebook, no stone has been left unturned in our collaborative quest for paradise.
A taste of what the future could hold, with visions of a perfect world from Michael Chaplin, Zoe Cooper, Dylan Moran, Simon Stephens, MP for Newcastle Central Chi Onwurah and more… Utopia is a night of humanity at its best, looking at a different vision of our future, a vision of humankind being both human and kind.
This is an ambitious collaborative project between Live Theatre and Soho Theatre; directed by Artistic Directors Max Roberts and Steve Marmion.
HUMANITY by Chi Onwurah
Three humans wake up in outer space, and find they’re being watched by aliens throughout the universe in a Big Brother style entertainment show. They have to decide which two will be going back to Earth and who will remain in space for ever to be exhibited in the gallery of interplanetary life…
SUNNYGLADE by Michael Chaplin
A blind, retired MP sits in a resthome in Newcastle secretly swigging gin, bitter about a political career that seemed to have no effect on the world. Her young care-nurse however, see’s Ruth’s ‘failed’ career in a different light.
WHO WAS RAY? by Dylan Moran
The aftermath of a dinner party with an unexpected guest; Ray. While the other members of the dinner party attempt to make it through the relatively dull evening undisturbed, wondering how they came to know him, Ray is a willful, anarchic force unto himself (aided by a microphone asparagus).
PAM by Zoe Cooper
Camelot – a suburbian paradise just outside the M25. Recently widowed Pam is dancing Zumba with the over 50s class, as she tries to reconcile herself to the ‘new world’ of Camelot she was promised by her late husband.
PROPAGANDA by Alistair McDowall
A violent dictator talks to a chained prisoner, describing how he indoctrinates young boys and changes them into child soldiers. But when his facebook popularity takes a beating the dictator has a radical change of heart.
A NATION FREE by Janice Okoh
Disease and all illness has vanished, and every person lives for as long as they wish. They work as many careers as they like, have as many partners as seems best and more importantly, choose when to die.
JUST LOOK AT WHAT WE MIGHT HAVE WON? by Thomas Eccleshare
Three people are stood on top of a hill. We can’t see what they can see, but they are waiting for a change. Amidst all the possible options the prospect of a woman and some swimming equipment becomes especially attractive.
THE SUN WILL COME OUT by Simon Stephens
A singular, honest vision of utopian perfection.
ADDITIONAL PIECES by…
Aldous Huxley, Adolf Hitler, The Village People, Scatman John, Michael Jackson, High School Musical and many more…
The play’s music was composed by Arthur Darvill (Rory in Doctor Who)
The faded clown make-up was used to represent ‘yesterday’s laughter’
Quotes from Sophia
You ask the question, ‘What is Utopia?’ and everyone has a different opinion. For everyone going away from the play, whether you are in the audience or one of the actors, I think it will resonate on a different level.
I suffer from terrible stage fright, which is why I haven’t done theatre before. I was shy as a child. When my school did the nativity play, I said the only character I could possible play was the donkey because I could wear a mask over my face.
Quotes from Reviews
The newcomers faired well amongst the strong role of the other cast. Hound and Myles were both exciting to watch, especially latter on, once they had warmed up and felt the pull of the stage.
A Younger Theatre – Veronica Aloess
the cast very quickly reach into the humanity of their characters (particularly Sophia Myles and Pamela Miles)
The whole ensemble show themselves to be extremely flexible and full of character in this fast-paced production, every individual excelling in their part.