Watch Terri Paddock's post-show Q&A at Proforca Theatre's At Last at London's Lion & Unicorn Theatre

At Last Q&A video: Can kindness be a form of rebellion against fascism?

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Special Events, Ticket recommendations, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

UPDATED Nov 2019: By popular demand, At Last returns for dates at Coventry’s Albany Theatre (29 November) and the Lion & Unicorn Theatre (3-7 December).

Are you worried about the state of politics and society in the UK today? That’s the question I asked at the start of my post-show Q&A for At Last at London’s Lion & Unicorn Theatre. The hands of all my panellists and nearly everyone sitting across from them in the audience shot up.

Proforca Theatre’s new play At Last, co-written by James Lewis and Alexander Knott, speaks to our collective worries and fears. The action is set in the present day but, while conceived during and clearly fuelled by divisions cleaved since the 2016 EU referendum, this is by no means a Brexit play.

In this “present”, rather than a Parliament in the midst of prorogation, we have reached the point of total government collapse with the overthrow of a fascist regime that took power in an alternative-reality aftermath of the 2011 London riots.

In this dystopian world, a new administration is trying to heal society’s divisions by means of a truth and reconciliation committee. We meet a young clerk whose job it is to assist witnesses, whose testimonies we also hear: a mother and her two sons on different sides, a potential whistle-blower, an underground rebel, a judge. Will they be able to forgive or forget?

At Last provoked an open, honest and – as one audience member put it – cathartic discussion about the polarisations we are all witnessing in our own lives. And one, which, I’m proud to say, was conducted respectfully throughout.

The evening was also a great opportunity to check in at the Lion & Unicorn six months after Proforca Theatre took over management of the theatre, opening with a run of Feel from the same creative team.

I was joined onstage by Proforca artistic director David Brady and three of his Lion & Unicorn associates: Jess Barton, co-director of At Last and co-founder of resident company Fight or Flight; Hannah Bates, author of companion monologue At First, staged at certain performances; and Jack Albert Cook, whose first full-length play Fast Love premiered at the venue this summer.

There were also lots of contributions from the At Last cast – Malcolm Jeffries, Melissa Phillips, Anthony Fagan, Demelza O’Sullivan, Michael Faulkner, David Angland and Gemma Wray – as well as the audience. Thanks to all the creatives, cast and audience members who joined this conversation. Remember to always rebel in your own way and to be kind.

At Last runs at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, 42-44 Gaisford St, Kentish Town, London NW5 2ED from 10 to 22 September 2019 with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £12-14. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

Q&A video

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Don't miss our live-tweeting from At Last post-show talk, plus more photos and video.

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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