Peter Hamilton at the Danelaw post-show Q&A chaired by Terri Paddock at London's Old Red Lion Theatre on 21 Sep 2019. © Peter Jones

Danelaw Q&A video: Is there a difference between racism & ‘racist attitudes’?

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

Can you be a racist if you don’t think you are? Is there a difference between racism and ‘racist attitudes’? How do you find sympathy for white supremacists? By finding sympathy are we making excuses? Peter Hamilton’s new updated staging of his 2005 play Danelaw prompted some serious discussion at my recent post-show Q&A at the Old Red Lion Theatre.

The play, directed in this new production by former Old Red Lion artistic director Ken McClymont, centres on racist football hooligan Cliff who, while serving time for assaulting an Asian man at a Millwall game, is visited by the mysterious Mr Warboys, who offers him the chance to re-establish the Danelaw – the Golden Age of Viking rule. And so begins a darkly-comic tragedy of violence and death.

Danelaw was inspired by two separate but related true-life news reports: a failed attempt by neo-Nazi group Combat 18 to establish a white-supremacist homeland in East Anglia with Chelmsford as the capital and MI5’s honey-trap operations to create a far-right watch list by advertising fictitious new parties in neo-Nazi magazines and registering recruits.

The 11-strong ensemble cast of Danelaw features Dan Maclane as Cliff and Craig Crosbie as Warboys, along with Bradley Crees, Evelyn Craven, Will Henry, Josie Ayers, Richard Fish, Emma Stannard, Marcus Kinsella, Marcel Hagen and Tomi Jatto.

For the post-show discussion, I was joined onstage by Peter Hamilton and Ken McClymont and, from the front row, by the cast. Why revive the play in 2019? How are people separate from their beliefs? What happened to the real Combat18 (and what does its name stand for)?

This was also my first post-show Q&A to end with a poetry reading – building nicely on one of the characters in the play who writes poems about the Department of Social Security amongst other things.

For more video, photos and tweets from the Q&A, visit TerriPaddock.com.

Danelaw runs at Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John St, Islington, London EC1V 4NJ from 17 September to 5 October 2019, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays 7.30pm, matinees Saturdays and Sundays 3pm. Tickets are priced £16. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!

Q&A video

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, 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 is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and 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 the Terri Paddock Group, 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 is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and 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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