The Pit & the Pendulum Q&A video: What would Edgar Allan Poe say to a prisoner in modern Iran?

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

Edgar Allan Poe wrote the short story The Pit & the Pendulum in 1842, inspired by the idea of a political prisoner tormented during the Spanish Inquisition.

In this new version, written and directed by Christopher York for Oxford-based site-specific specialists Creation Theatre Company, the inmate is a woman from Tehran (played by Iranian-British actress Afsaneh Dehrouyeh) who has been imprisoned for the act of removing her hijab in public.

A fierce political prisoner wakes in her pitch black cell.
She has been imprisoned for the act of removing her hijab in public.
She will not be broken by her faceless torturers.
Above her, the razor-sharp pendulum swings ever lower.

The nameless Iranian, the voice of Poe, and the sounds of the cell (water, rats, rattling keys, clanging doors, the pendulum) are dripped intimately into the audience’s ears via wireless headsets, as scenes from the streets and the imagination occasionally scythe through the darkness projected onto a backdrop (by no accident, the same shape and dimensions as a smartphone screen).

At the post-show Q&A I chaired at Omnibus Theatre, I was joined by Christopher, Afsaneh and Creation producer Lucy Askew – with offstage input from Omnibus artistic director Marie McCarthy – for a fascinating discussion about Poe, Iran, the production, its technical feats (shoutouts to sound designer Matt Eaton and video designer Eva Auster), themes and influences (including a long list of recommended documentary films) – and how, with the magic of Creation, The Pit & the Pendulum became the first-ever theatre production staged at Oxford’s historic Bodleian Library.

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

The Pit and the Pendulum continues at London’s Omnibus Theatre until 24 November 2018. 

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.
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.