Video and photos: Spoiling debate ahead of Scottish referendum

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Photos, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Click to view slideshow. “Talk about handling a hot potato,” Gabriel Quigley said to me after I chaired a post-show Q&A with her and her co-star Richard Clements following last Thursday’s performance of Spoiling at Theatre Royal Stratford East. John McCann’s new play, a co-production between Stratford East and Scotland’s Traverse Theatre, is ferociously topical – taking as its jumping-off point the fateful vote on Scottish independence, which in real life, of course, takes place next Thursday, 18 September 2014. McCann imagines that the “Yes” vote is triumphant and he sets the action a year after the vote, when Scotland’s outspoken Foreign Minister Designate (played by Quigley) is due to make her first keynote speech alongside the UK’s Foreign Minister. Harassed party worker, northern Irishman Mark (played by Clements) is on hand to try to ensure that she sticks to the script. Spoiling was a Fringe First-winning sell-out last month at the Edinburgh Festival and, after its limited run until this Saturday at Stratford East, it returns to Edinburgh for one, critical week as part of the Traverse Theatre’s Referendum week programme. Will life imitate art? As the polls tilt further in the Yes vote’s favour, Quigley tells me that the overwhelming difference between performing the play in London versus Edinburgh is the “overwhelming sense of hurt” emanating from English audiences, especially during provocative lines like “Scotland apologies for its part in the British Empire”. It’s like England is the spouse everyone wants to divorce, I note in the Q&A. “If I let another moment pass, this moment, then I swear I’ll forget I ever had a voice in the first place.” “I always thought this place was confident. Fitted its own skin. Knows where it came from. Where it wants to go. What it wants to be.” “We voted for independence, but the truth is we don’t own ourselves. We’re not independent, we’re indentured.” So really there was only one overarching topic discussed at the Spoiling Q&A, but we came at it from all manner of angles, artistic, political and personal, and did so with lots of respect and humour, and a nod to Bob Geldof. Below is a video replay of Stratford East’s livestream – please do watch – and have a scroll through the Q&A photos. For details of this and other events I’m involved in, more coming soon, visit my Calendar page. Spoiling runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Studio (closest Tube: Stratford East) until 13 September 2014. Tickets from £15. Click here to buy now. It then returns to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 16 to 20 September.   [youtube]

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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,, Stage Talk and Previously,
Terri Paddock founded 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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