Articles for December, 2010

Great Game

The Last Leg…

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 by Great Game

We arrived in New York on the 29th November. The company reassembling from the Thanksgiving break – some had been back to England, but the majority had been traveling and holidaying in the U.S. I arrived in the afternoon from Washington. The crew were already half-way through the fit-up at the Skirball Theatre on Washington Square. The theatre doubles as a lecture hall for NYU and is somewhat antiseptic and incredibly wide – the width rather dwarfed our set. The very institutional foyer had been enlivened by a wonderful Afghan – Temur – who had followed us from Washington, and set up a stall of Afghan jewellery, carpets and crafts. He did a roaring trade, especially on the trilogy days.

The first week was spent hectically getting used to the space, and New York’s harsh biting cold wind – somewhat akin to what London was experiencing in the first week in December. The first performance on Wednesday took all of us by surprise – the audience, compared to those we had experienced elsewhere, was completely unresponsive; luckily however Oskar Eustis (the Artistic Director of the Public Theater) was immensely supportive – as were the Chair of our Board and Baz Bamigboye who had flown in especially for this opening performance. Somehow we all had not found the right energy for the space but over the next two days things radically improved, and by the weekend everyone had got into their stride. The two weekend press trilogy days were much much more accomplished – the audiences too were incredibly responsive, and we got standing ovations on both days. (more…)

Great Game

‘A positive and creative and brilliant experience’

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 by Great Game

Actress Jemma Redgrave gave two interviews about her time with The Great Game: Afghanistan:

“When you talk about Afghan history and the politics, it sounds dry and rather didactic. But these are excellent plays”

Metro New York

When the cycle of Afghan-related plays ends on Dec. 19, Redgrave says she’ll be distraught. “It’s a very sad thing always to say goodbye to something that’s been such a positive and creative and brilliant experience.”

Yahoo! New York

Great Game

New York: Reviewed

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 by Great Game

Extracts from the latest (8 December) reviews from New York…

The New York Times

‘As a study of the foreign presences that have occupied Afghanistan since the early 19th century, “The Great Game” is nothing less than a collective attempt to imagine into comprehensible existence a country that continues to baffle all outsiders who would rule, use or appropriate it. … The plays as a whole become an imaginative testament to an historic and repeated failure of the imagination.

‘…you always feel the creative energy and strenuous empathy that went into the making of “The Great Game,” which features a highly mutable and indefatigable cast of 14. … What “The Great Game” points out, admiringly and unflinchingly, is that when it comes to the history of occupied Afghanistan, even hindsight is irrevocably blurry.’ (more…)

Great Game

In 12 Plays, 150 Years of Afghan History

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 by Great Game

From The New York Times:

BY the time the seven-plus hours of ‘The Great Game: Afghanistan’ have concluded (over three successive nights or in one all-day weekend marathon), audiences will have received a vigorous crash course on a country that has gotten relatively little attention in the West even in the midst of a war that has taken more than 1,300 American lives.

Left, from left: Daniel Betts, Nabil Elouahabi and Shereen Martineau in ‘Black Tulips,’ by David Edgar; and Danny Rahim in Lee Blessing’s ‘Wood for the Fire.’


Nicolas Kent

The latest news from the US tour…

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 by Nicolas Kent

The last week in Berkeley was extraordinary – the company were in great spirits, the weather was glorious, and added to that we were playing to full houses. There were a number of talk-backs after the plays, and the audiences were extremely engaged and interesting. The spirit of the 60s certainly has not died in Berkeley, although the homelessness and poverty is alarming: it caused the British Council representative to remark to me that it reminded him very much of his last posting in India. Apparently the divide between rich and poor in America is the greatest of any developed country.

A group of Afghans came to see the plays on the final Saturday, and were enormously grateful that we were doing something about the history of their country, and I was asked to pose for photos with the family – their gratitude was extremely touching, and it was only a shame that somehow not more of the Afghan community seemed to know about our visit – the Bay area has the largest population of Afghans in America – most of whom arrived here during the Russian occupation.

Berkeley Rep have been extraordinarily welcoming throughout, and on the final night they threw a party after the plays, which was a wonderful end of the first long leg of this tour.



The Tricycle wins Liberty Human Rights Arts Award!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 by Tricycle

Nicolas Kent, Indhu Rubasingham and The Tricycle Theatre are delighted to have been given this special accolade:

For their proud record of highlighting some of the most important human rights issues of the day, including this year’s The Great Game focusing on British intervention in Afghanistan.

With recent productions also examining the de Menezes Inquest and Deepcut Barracks deaths, the Tricycle Theatre is an inspirational example of how art with a social conscience need not require creative compromise.