Labyrinth | Dream Plane Productions

The world of big finance is deliberately obscured such that the average person isn’t aware of a problem until the economy comes crashing down around them and they lose all their savings. It’s part of the appeal of movies like the Big Short or Wall Street, which part the curtain on banks, brokerages, and the intricate financial systems that hold them all together. Beth Steel’s 2016 script shoulders its way behind the scenes of the 1981 US Recession, specifically, and the banks that made it possible.

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UBU: A Cautionary Tale of Catastrophe | Tooth & Sinew Theatre with bAKEHOUSE

You know, sometimes, the best solution really is to kill the King. At least that’s what Ma and Pa Ubu have been convinced of by the Prime Minister of Pooland and his lackeys who need the King overthrown so they can make more money through their mining empire. What they didn’t anticipate was Pa Ubu caring even less for his fellow humans than they do.

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Fuente Ovejuna | Dream Plane Productions

Image by Clare Hawley

It’s the kind of story that rallies people together and strikes fear into the hearts of the rich and powerful: the downtrodden rise up and right the wrongs done to them by their oppressors. In the case of Fuente Ovejuna, the history is true. In Angus Evans’s new adaptation of the Spanish classic, the patterns of revolution ring out across time and place.

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Animal Farm | New Theatre

Image by Bob Seary

The last few years have felt particularly prophetic as the global timeline twists in on itself with the rise of fascism in the west, the collapse of democracy in Hong Kong, the civil rights movement of Black Lives Matter, and the “unprecedented” times of COVID-19 which saw responses from political leaders uncannily similar to the AIDS crisis and the 1918 flu pandemic. So it’s not surprising to see artists turn to the well-worn narratives of George Orwell as an imperfect mirror for the cycle of oppression and revolution we’re living through.

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Ditch | Dream Plane Productions

1. Giles Gartrell-Mills (Photography by Becky Matthews)

Image by Becky Matthews

In the near future, the world has reached breaking point: the government is forcibly mandating birth control, people are fleeing across borders, communications have broken down between major powers and volatile states, and nuclear war hangs on the horizon. Ditch makes manifest the threats, predictions, and fears gathering for generations and presents the world as it may one day be.

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