Tricycle's 7/7 play is 'welcome addition' to theatre

PUBLISHED: 11:52 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:22 07 September 2010

Tan Parsons ONE director believes the rest of the capital s theatre world missed a trick by not showing a play about the 7/7 bombings earlier. The Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, has become the first London venue to host Pornography – a play which appears to e

Tan Parsons

ONE director believes the rest of the capital's theatre world missed a trick by not showing a play about the 7/7 bombings earlier.

The Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, has become the first London venue to host Pornography - a play which appears to empathise with the 7/7 bombers, two years after the play premiered in Germany.

But despite acknowledging the controversy that could arise, artistic director Nicolas Kent said the play was a powerful addition to the London stage.

"I think people missed a trick with this play," he said. "It was at the Edinburgh Festival last year and a huge success there and then it was shown in Birmingham but the trick was missed when it wasn't shown in London.

"Obviously this has huge reverberations for London. I have seen it now in Edinburgh and London and the experience of watching it in London was completely different.

"You are aware when you watch it that the bombings were more or less around the corner from you. People talk about walking home that day, and the feeling that day is something all of us Londoners went through. Watching it elsewhere feels more remote."

The play is set in London in the days immediately before and after the terrorist attacks that left 52 dead and 700 injured.

It has been branded controversial by some because it includes one of the bombers as a character with whom the audience can empathise.

The Ham&High can exclusively reveal that next month The Tricycle will follow up Pornography by showing Stockwell, a play about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot dead by police in a case of mistaken identity following the bombings.

Mr Kent said: "We've done a lot of work at the Tricycle which is close to the bone. We've done work about Stephen Lawrence and the Bloody Sunday inquiry. All these things will have an effect on victims or the families of victims and obviously one has to take that into account and it is certainly at the forefront of my mind.

"But in all these things we have looked to the event to try to understand what happened and look at the motives - however disgraceful and abhorrent they are.

"These actions are abhorrent but if we don't try to look at and understand what these people's motives are and how their minds work we will never be able to prevent these atrocities in the future. Art and theatre have a key role in examining these things."

John Falding, whose partner Anat Rosenberg died when a bomb was detonated on the Number 30 bus in Tavistock Square, agrees.

He said: "I think the more debate and discussion there is between people and about situations the better. It's all part of a dialogue and of course the theatre is a very good way of introducing topics of dialogue you wouldn't normally come across in conversation to highlight things.

"To that extent, it could be a good thing. I wouldn't object to going to see the play on any particular grounds but I don't go out to the theatre now in any case. Since Anat died the theatre isn't for me. But previously I would have gone.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express