ED2017 Preview Edition ED2017 Theatre ED2017 Three To See

Three To See 2017: Three helpings of dystopian theatre

By | Published on Monday 31 July 2017

ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses helps you navigate the Festival with her Three To See tips. This time three helpings of dystopian theatre.

Under My Thumb | Assembly Roxy | 3-20 Aug
I think dystopian themes are all the rage at the moment (yes, I did use the phrase “all the rage” like an aged parent, possibly because I am one) and I am pretty sure that’s because of things like Donald Trump being president of America and everyone worrying about how that’s all going to end. So, I think some dystopian theatrics are in order, starting with this, which tells the story of five women in an alternative present, imprisoned for crimes against society.

The Divide 1 and 2 | King’s Theatre | 8-20 Aug (pictured)
“A century from now England is hit by a deadly contagion. Society is decimated as contact between men and women becomes fatal. Under the dictates of an elusive Preacher, an unthinkable solution is enforced. Separated by the Divide, the adult survivors are segregated by gender with men wearing white as a mark of their purity and women – still infected – clothed in black as a sign of their sin.” This new work by Alan Ayckbourn is told through two instalments, and looks extraordinary.

Play On Words | C royale | 2-28 Aug
Most dystopian stuff tends to be quite serious, but ‘Play On Words’ is a comedy, which is nice. It focuses on the daily routine of two lexicographers – Harper and Collins – who survive on a diet of alphabet soup and, imprisoned by a sinister organisation, struggle to reach their daily word quota under the constant threat of death. Argh.