Angels in Bedlam

March 6, 2016 | By | Reply More

EUTC stages Kushner epic

The EUTC is to stage the first half of Tony Kushner’s seven hour epic Angels in America, about the AIDS epidemic which struck America in the 1980s.

Millennium Approaches, being presented this week at the Bedlam, had its premiere in 1991 with the second half, Perestroika, the following year. The whole play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, won Kushner the Pulitzer prize for drama in 1993.

angels_bedlamSet in 1985, Millennium Approaches sets the scene as the angel of death descends on New York in the form of the AIDs crisis. Everyone is affected – from drag queens to Mormons – and as the future becomes less discernible, everyone is terrified.

Speaking of his decision to take on the play, director Liam Rees said: “Angels grabbed me immediately with its huge heart and humour. It’s a beautiful script with themes and issues that are as relevant now as ever before.”

With a cast of eight, all of whom play at least two characters, the play follows five central characters in their isolated yet interconnected lives. Relationships fall apart as they are forced to bring into question their identity, politics, religion, love, forgiveness, and betrayal.

There’s a strong Brechtian influence to the script. In his notes, Kushner urges would-be producers that it is okay to “let the wires show” when it comes to staging the play’s more magical elements.

actor-driven event

He says: “The play benefits from a pared-down style of presentation, with minimal scenery and scene shifts done rapidly (no blackouts!), employing the cast as well as stagehands — which makes for an actor-driven event, as this must be.”

With a series of workshops under their belt, including explorations into finding the best formula to create realistic stage blood and how to make the sky fall onto the stage, this first production of Angels in America for the EUTC should be a theatrical event to remember.

Listing

Millennium Approaches
Bedlam Theatre, 11 Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ
Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 March 2016
Evenings 7.30pm.
The production will run for three hours and thirty minutes with two, ten minute intervals.
Tickets and details from:  www.bedlamtheatre.co.uk

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