Great Game

Latest news from the Pentagon performances…

Friday, February 11th, 2011 by Great Game

Update from Washington, from Jonathan Levy, Chair of the Tricycle Board:

I am writing this post from Washington, after the first of The Great Game trilogy days. The plays are being shown in the Shakespeare Theater, an 800 seater theater where the production was performed as part of the the USA tour. The performances are primarily being sponsored by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which is an impressive organisation, and also the British Council, whose Chief Executive Martin Davidson was in attendance.

The audience for the three plays varied from Top Brass Generals to ex-Ambassadors to Policy makers to journalists and many more. The plays went down really well and at the end of Part 3 there was an instant standing ovation with muted applause which I thought reflected how the audience had been moved by the totality of the experience. Part 3 must be more difficult for Americans to watch as the plays are effectively putting a mirror up to them, whereas Parts 1 and 2 deal far more with British. Throughout, the audience were absorbed and totally mesmerised.

The Manager from the Berkeley Theater came over especially with her Chair and one of her major funders just for the experience of seeing it again. “I wouldn’t miss this experience for anything” she said. They sat through all 3 parts again and loved it.

Between Parts 2 and 3 the Bob Woodruff Foundation put on a reception and as one person said to me “I’ve never seen so many movers and shakers from the Washington military and associated policy-makers all in one room”. There were speeches by Douglas Wilson, Assistant Director of Defence for Public Affairs from the Pentagon, who said that many people wondered why the Pentagon would put on such plays but that when he met Nick at the Penatgon to discuss it “it was a no brainer!”

The Director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation then spoke very movingly about the effects of war, the work they did, and why they wanted to show the plays. She quoted many statistics to us “1 in 4 of the homeless are ex warriors”, “more lives are being lost to suicides than in combat” and so on.

Then there was Martin Davidson from the British Council who talked about “the unique power of the arts” and how proud they were to be associated with the plays. We also heard from General Busby who talked about the collaboration between all the parties.

I can’t begin to tell you how the reputation of the Tricycle has reached new levels. The contacts that have been established at all different levels within the Washington machinery can not be really comprehended. As Indhu beautifully put it at the Press Conference, this a small theatre from Kilburn employing 20 full time staff who, when Nick said he wanted to do this project, thought he was “nuts”! We have made so many new and wonderful friends and this is the culmination of a long journey that everyone involved can take pride in.