Sebastien Lancrenon and Jean-Baptiste Sauray’s musical, newly translated from French by Ranjit Bolt, is a devoted tribute to the french hero. It focuses the conflict between pro- and anti- disability rights on the school’s resources and teaching methods, with Louis at the centre of the fight.
Blinded in a childhood accident, Louis Braille’s keen intelligence saw him ruffle feathers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth where he resided, mainly because prevailing societal attitudes considered the blind to be untrainable.
It’s 1968. America’s Swingin’ Sweethearts, Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, are performing live on national television! The only catch? They haven’t spoken to each other in five years. As the inevitable blow-up gets closer, the songs become increasingly double-edged.
In its depiction of two pawns caught up unwillingly in the machinations of the rich and powerful and its philosophical banter, Guards at the Taj reminds me a lot of Tom Stoppard‘s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
You lose some, you win some: two former libraries now turned into arts centres-cum-community spaces-cum theatres plus Bunker’s Theatre takeover of an underground car park in Southwark Street. No one could say that south London isn’t teeming with theatrical enterprise.