New play For the Sake of Argument tests the old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword with its tale of a journalist at the time of the Iraq war that runs at the Bridewell Theatre early next year. Book your tickets now!
Written and directed by Harry Darell, the production runs at the Blackfriars venues from 28 January to 8 February 2020.
Eleanor Hickock is a passionate and argumentative polemical journalist who becomes the Iraq War’s chief evangelist. For Eleanor, conversations are a battleground and words are tools for manipulation. Her disputatious stance on the 2003 invasion persuades one reader, Mark, to enlist. When Mark’s mother seeks out the journalist who convinced her son to die for his country, sparks fly and violent confrontations ensue. Eleanor is faced with a family who mourn the loss of a son and a brother and is asked to answer for it.
This hard-hitting production interrogates the power and danger of language, as one journalist’s words send a young man to enlist for the frontline.
In our world of clickbait and instantaneous reaction on social media, people formulate entire concrete beliefs based on 240 characters and the headlines of pieces they have barely paid attention to. This play looks to promote the value of compassion and understanding, highlighting the dangers of flippantly taking radical positions on important issues. It discusses the need for full context and warns of the dangers of offhand comments which can become tenants of a belief. It encourages patience rather than knee-jerk reaction.
Speaking about the play, writer/director Darell said:
This play is a particularly important story to tell now for a number of reasons. The first is that it revolves around language and its potentially dangerous use. The play is set in a period just before the explosion of certain technologies such as the Smartphone and before social media became mainstream. Nevertheless, Eleanor’s writings and television appearances were still able to snatch an entirely ‘unmilitary’ young man from a regular life and convince him of the importance of a certain conflict. Now, we can see this effect occur on a much larger scale, with a significantly wider net. Young people are being presented with apparently convincing arguments to carry out much more dangerous and illegitimate activities
The Iraq war began in 2003, when a US-led coalition, which included the UK, entered the west Asian country to remove its leader, Saddam Hussein, from power. In the first years of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed. Tony Blair‘s decision, as the British Prime Minister, to enter Iraq is still surrounded with controversy as the weapons of mass destruction cited as the reason for invasion were never discovered.
Performer Ashleigh Cole leads the cast of For the Sake of Argument as Eleanor Hickock, returning to the London stage following performances in Love, Genius and a Walk at Drayton Arms Theatre and As You Like It at the Open Air Theatre, Walthamstow. She’s joined in the cast by Georgie Farmer, Greg Snowden, Paula Cassina, Ella May, Arthur Velarde, Harry Eaton-Mercer, Lucia France, Matt Weyland and Harry Farmer.
For the Sake of Argument is staged at the Bridewell Theatre by Darell’s company Admission Productions. They previously staged Darell’s The Gift at Chelsea Theatre in 2018 and created short film Industrious, which ran at the Cannes Short Film Festival earlier this year.
For the Sake of Argument runs at the Bridewell Theatre, 14 Bride Ln, London EC4Y 8EQ from 28 January to 8 February 2020, with performances Mondays to Saturdays 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £19. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!