Hassan Abdulrazzak, Caryl Churchill, Neil LaBute and Roy Williams are among the writers in TOP TRUMPS, a Theatre503 festival responding to Donald Trump’s election and his inauguration as U.S. President.
In the week of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a team of Theatre503 artists offers plays, proposals and premonitions to explore all that has led to this moment and where things might go from here.
Theatre503 has commissioned short plays from a collection of established and emerging writers to mark this astonishing political moment. Themes range from the Black vote for Trump and the impact of his election on British politics to a writer taking on his Trump-voting parents. A series of panel discussions accompany the plays. Ensuring different perspectives are represented, the discussions are designed to provoke thought and action and will feature leading journalists, campaigners, politicians, economists and U.S. theatre-makers.
Hassan Abdulrazzak mines the power of political masks in Palestinian; Caryl Churchill dissects a family threatened by voting differences; Neil Labute predicts the future of sexual politics; Roy Williams explores the Black vote for Trump; Christopher Adams talks to his Trump-voting mum; K. Issac takes a comedic look at what Trump means for British politics; Amanda Lane re-imagines Kierkegaard’s Clown; Lorna French examines the economic struggle of the family; Lily Bevan plays a game of Who Am I?; Tearrance Chisholm presents a mix tape for a hospital visitation from Kanye West; Ryan Watson takes on the politics of language; and Helen Banner presents a choral piece on the power of the voice.
Post-performance panel discussions:
19 January: Could Trump be a good thing?
20 January: What can I do now? Activists discuss practical ways to move forward.
21 January (matinee): Is political correctness responsible for the outcome of the U.S. election?
21 January (evening): Is the Media to blame?
Lisa Spirling, Artistic Director, Theatre503: ‘Part of the thrill and necessity of theatre is that it can respond immediately to the world around us. We can’t know the impact of the times we are living in but with Top Trumps, Theatre503’s writers are investigating these heady days and exploring how best to prepare ourselves for the moments ahead. This enables us to do what we do best – bring together established writers, emerging talent and experts from outside the industry to learn from and challenge each other in equal measure.’
Top Trumps kicks off Theatre503’s 2017. Further highlights of the spring season include Michael McLean’s Years of Sunlight (produced by Seared Productions, directed by Amelia Sears, 25 January – 18 February), Titas Holder’sEscape the Scaffold (a Theatre503, The Other Room, Mongrel Thumb co-production, directed by Hannah Price, 22 March – 15 April), and Synergy’s Homecomings festival featuring Glory Whispers by Sonya Hale and The Monkey by John Stanley (21 February – 18 March).