Photos & podcast: Gender & identity at Rotterdam Q&A

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

What a treat it was to not only see Jon Brittain’s Rotterdam again last night, but to be able to question this hugely talented young writer about his bittersweet comedy, which ranked amongst my Top Ten new plays of last year.

The play – set in the titular Dutch city, where Jon once spent months (unhappily) working in a call centre – centres on the relationship between Alice, who wants to come out as a lesbian, and her girlfriend, who wants to start living as a man. As Fiona begins transitioning into Adrian, Alice must face a question she never thought she’d ask… if her partner is a man, does this mean she’s straight?

After last night’s performance – ahead of tonight’s West End premiere at Trafalgar Studios 2, where the production has transferred following its success last year at Theatre 503 – I chaired a post-show Q&A with Jon, as well as designer Ellan Parry, associate director Roxy Cook and special guest Ash Palmisciano. Ash is a trans commentator from charity Gendered Intelligence and has recently completed his own transition.

Jon spent five years researching and writing Rotterdam after seeing two friends transition. How realistic is the experience he captures in the play? How have attitudes towards gender fluidity changed, even in the past few years? What does ‘non-binary’ mean in relation to gender? How does gender differ from sexuality? How does language fail us when we try to understand and talk about gender issues? What does the set design add, visually and metaphorically, to Ikea? And, one for fashionistas, where can you get your own pair of orange glitter boots… in London… in June? What does the music add? Is the city of Rotterdam really that awful? How long do we have to wait for the Amsterdam-set sequel?

Have a listen to the unedited podcast for some of the answers and more questions. Also below, watch my interval video with Jon Brittain and producer Brian Hook, and scroll through Q&A tweets from the audience (including #LDNtheatrebloggers) and event photos by Peter Jones.

Rotterdam continues at Trafalgar Studios until 27 August 2016.

Interval video

I’m here @RotterdamPlay interval with writer @jonbrittain & @bbhook ahead of post-show q&a pic.twitter.com/XQVP0I0nK8

— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) July 27, 2016

Podcast

Q&A photos
Click to view slideshow.

 

Live-tweeting

Rotterdam Q&A – Curated tweets by MyTheatreMates

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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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