Photos and podcast: Barrie Keeffe discusses “unacceptable”, still timely Barbarians

In Audio, Features, Inspiring people, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Quotes by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Regular readers of this blog will know that, a few weeks ago, I was blown away by Tooting Arts Club’s revival of BarbariansBarrie Keeffe‘s 1977 modern classic about disaffected London youth. So much so that I practically begged the producer Rachel Edwards to let me come back and chair a post-show discussion on the play (in fact, a trilogy of three short plays in one evening), this extraordinary site-specific promenade production at the former Central Saint Martin’s School of Art building in Charing Cross Road and the frightening timeliness of its arrival (opening at austerity protestors took once again to the streets in Manchester outside the Conservative Party Conference).

Rachel not only obliged, she roped into the discussion the legend that is Barrie Keeffe himself, her inspired director Bill Buckhurst and designer Simon Kenny (who recently transformed a pie shop into a stage for her Sweeney Todd in Tooting and then the West End, to huge acclaim) and her three brave Barbarians: Thomas Coombes, Jake Davies and Josh Williams.

Myself and others in the audience were still shaking and wiping tears from our eyes after witnessing, in such close quarters, Barbarians‘ brutal dying moments, as we regathered in the second stopping-off point on the evening’s journey to discuss the experience. After the onstage tragedies, and while still tackling the serious issues they raise, it was a relief that, at the Q&A, there was so much warmth and much laughter. Topics touched on included:

the ‘ghosts’ of The Sex Pistols and others (drug dealers?) who haunt the building and how they enhance the play
actor Thomas Coombes‘ trip to A&E during previews – and his ‘skinhead treatment’ there
anecdotes about Verity Bargate, Mike Leigh and Gary Oldham
Barrie Keeffe‘s thoughts on political and punk labels and why the play was initially “unacceptable”
where the characters might be now, nearly 40 years on

Pictures and full, unedited podcast below. SPOILER ALERT on podcast: How the play may (or may not) end is discussed!

Barbarians must finish its limited season at the Central Saint Martin’s School of Art building on 7 November 2015. Book tickets via Soho Theatre.
Photos from the night

The setting for Barbarians is a photographers’ delight. Here’s just a selection of the space and discussion, care of Peter Jones.

Click to view slideshow.
Podcast

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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 renowned 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 renowned 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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