Over the past eleven years, Bath based Playing Up Theatre Company has built a strong reputation for delivering powerful and challenging theatre. In that time, it has staged the work of playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, John Arden and Dario Fo to enormous critical acclaim. The company has also, on occasion, delved into classic literature with productions of Jonson’s Volpone and Marlow’s Faustus as well as producing theatrical productions of the novels Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Dale Wasserman. In 2014 they staged a rarely seen production of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22.
This February they will be producing one of the most powerful and important political thrillers of the twentieth century, Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden. The play was originally championed by Harold Pinter and was famously filmed with Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley. It is one of the most thought provoking pieces of theatre ever to be written on the themes of political disappearances, forgiveness and revenge. In an age when people are still regularly snatched off foreign streets, sometimes to reappear broken and sometimes to disappear for ever, this is a play that everyone should see. The New York Times described it as: “A play that the audience will carry out of the theatre and into life.”
In the words of Ariel Dorfman himself: “…it is also sobering to realise that humanity has not managed to learn from the past, that torture has not been abolished, that justice is so rarely served, that censorship prevails, that the hopes of a democratic revolution can be gutted and distorted and warped. I can’t help but ask if 20 years from now I will be writing this phrase all over again: this story happened yesterday, but it could well be today.”
Performances take place at The Rondo Theatre, Larkhall, Bath at 7:30pm and tickets are available from Bath Festivals Box Office on 01225 463362. For more information please go to www.playing-up.co.uk