Max Stafford-Clark has teamed up with prolific playwrights including David Hare and Caryl Churchill to create A View From Islington North, an evening of short political plays that will premiere at the Arts Theatre this summer.
Featuring music by singer and activist Billy Bragg, the production will feature political satires by Alistair Beaton, Stella Feehily, Hare, Mark Ravenhill and Churchill, many of which have been performed by Stafford Clark’s acclaimed Out of Joint theatre company in the past.
For the first time, all five works will be performed together to explore the pressing political issues of the day, with the director describing political satire as “a pungent corrective to political pomposity and ambition”.
Feehily’s How To Get Ahead In Politics will explore the scheming that takes place behind the closed doors of political parties, while Ravenhill’s The Mother takes a look at the true cost of the UK’s “military adventures” and Churchill’s Tickets Are Now On Sale centres on how sponsorship affects the content of art.
The evening’s two newest works, Hare’s Ayn Rand Takes A Stand, which will take audiences inside the mind of current Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, and Beaton’s party politics satire The Accidental Leader will make their world premieres in the production.
Explaining the inspiration behind the show, Stafford-Clark commented, “Over a few years Out of Joint has accumulated a number of short plays, originally written for other purposes; Caryl Churchill’s play Tickets Are Now On Sale formed part of a Theatre Uncut season and Stella Feehily’s How To Get Ahead In Politics was written for a one-off occasion on the eve of the General Election. And I’ve always wanted to revisit Mark Ravenhill’s searing play The Mother, since it was first performed at the Royal Court in 2008.
“It occurred to me then that we had the beginnings of a pertinent and provocative evening! Alistair Beaton and David Hare happily responded to an invitation to write new plays, Billy Bragg agreed to compose a new song, and there we had A View From Islington North.”
A View From Islington North plays at the Arts Theatre from 18 May to 2 July.