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Theatre Pages...

Fracked! OR: PLEASE DON'T
USE THE F-WORD

NEW UK Tour

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Wednesday 12 April – Saturday 22 April
ONLINE BOOKING: HERE
Box Office +44 (0)1483 440 000

" Fracking good entertainment…..  A darkly comic treat.”

FRACKED! OR PLEASE DON'T USE THE F-WORD at Guildford
SurreyandHantsnews.com

Malvern Theatres
Monday 24 April – Saturday 29 April
ONLINE BOOKING: HERE
Box Office +44 (0)1684 892 277

Theatre Royal, Brighton
Monday 1 May – Saturday 6 May
ONLINE BOOKING: HERE
Box Office +44 (0)844 871 7650

Richmond Theatre
Monday 8 May – Saturday 13 May
ONLINE BOOKING: HERE
Box Office +44 (0)844 871 7651

Theatre Royal, Bath
Monday 15 May – Saturday 20 May
ONLINE BOOKING: HERE
Box Office +44 (0)1225 448 844

Cambridge Arts Theatre
Monday 22 May – Saturday 27 May
ONLINE BOOKING: HERE
Box Office +44 (0)1223 503 333

 

images/fracked/James-Bolam-Anne-Reid-in-FRACKED-at-Chichester-Festival-Theatre-Photo-by-Catherine-Ashmore

Michael-Simkins-in-FRACKED-at-Chichester-Festival-Theatre.-Photo-by-Catherine-Ashmore

All photos taken by Catherine Ashmore

The guardian banner
Fracked! Or: Please Don’t Use the F-Word

Anne Reid and James Bolam to play anti-fracking campaigners. The Guardian article written by Mark Brown.
Read here...

 

2017
FRACKED! OR: PLEASE DON'T USE THE F-WORD

Following an acclaimed, sold-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, FRACKED! OR: PLEASE DON’T USE THE F-WORD will embark on a UK tour from April 2017. Alistair Beaton’s provocative new comedy takes us to an idyllic English village threatened by an energy company intent on drilling for shale gas. You can read what the critics said HERE. The UK tour dates are listed (left) and Box Office sales are now open.

" Fracking good entertainment…..  A darkly comic treat.”

FRACKED! OR PLEASE DON'T USE THE F-WORD at Guildford
SurreyandHantsnews.com


Creatives: 2017
Cast: 2017

Written by Alistair Beaton
Commissioned by the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Directed by - Richard Wilson
Designer - James Cotterill
Lighting Design - Johanna Town
Sound Designer - Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Video Designer - Tim Reid
Casting Director - Gabrielle Dawes

Anne Reid - Elizabeth
James Bolam - Jack
Michael Simkins -
Harry Hadden-Paton -  
Waleed Akhtar -
Andrea Hart - Jenny & Lady Mayor
Sophie Khan Levy -
Freddie Meredith - Sam & Young Man
Steven Roberts - Waiter - Policeman
Tristram Wymark - Professor Wakeman
& Neville

“Alistair Beaton's brilliant new comedy is in lockstep with the times. Although clearly anti-fracking, Beaton doesn't preach and has terrific fun giving equal weight to both sides”
DAILY MAIL
“Very funny”

THE GUARDIAN
“As topical and pacy as the deluge of headlines breaking by the minute”
THE i NEWSPAPER

 

FRACKED! OR: PLEASE DON'T USE THE F-WORD

FRACKING GOOD ENTERTAINMENT

I’m always a little nervous of new plays, especially ones with potential contemporary political messages. Will they descend into polemic or weak satire? And a new play is still relatively untested even if first reviews are good.

With ’Fracked! Or: Please Don’t Use the F-Word’, by Alistair Beaton, at the Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, this week, there is nothing to fear. The strong cast, strong script, high production values and skilled direction by Richard Wilson make for an entertaining experience.

Yes, there is polemic in this story about a retired couple and the fight against a company with plans to ‘frack’, or release gas using hydraulic fracturing, in the village of Fernstock, but this is a play about people, and this is what gives it its real strength.

At the centre of the story are Elizabeth and Jack, played by Anne Reid and James Bolam, two actors with the skill and experience to be utterly convincing and draw out the humanity of the piece as well as the humour.

Reluctantly at first, Elizabeth is drawn into a fight against Deerland Energy. Elizabeth never meant to become so involved, and her response to the threat of fracking is both a plea for real democracy to be given its chance to work and an indictment of a society in which, as she says, “democracy only works for the rich and powerful”.

Jack just wants a peaceful retirement and a nice shepherd’s pie, but he will also support his wife, particularly against the PR company Moxley Biggleswade under the control of Joe, a man as clever and quick as he is amoral.

Though he is something of a stereotype, in the hands of Harry Hadden-Paton Joe is hugely entertaining and gives the play great energy. He also has a pretty clear understanding of how the world works and how to get people to believe in what he wants, even though he probably doesn’t believe in anything apart from making money. By contrast, the head of Deerland Energy, Hal (an avuncular Michael Simkins) is more subtly drawn and genuinely believes that without oil and gas “the lights will go out”.

There are some nice cameo roles - Steven Roberts is a particularly fine waiter - and some entertaining contemporary references - the one about politicians lying about not calling an early election was greeted with wry laughter - and the audience was kept laughing throughout. Climate change deniers and those who object to strong language may find this play offensive, but anyone else should try to see it for a darkly comic treat.

Stella Wiseman - SurreyandHantsnews.com

 

2016

FRACKED! OR: PLEASE DON'T USE THE F-WORD

By Alistair Beaton

 

'How would you feel about sitting in front of that nice old village pub on a sunny afternoon while convoys of 40-ton tankers roll past six feet away?'

images/fracked/Andrea-Hart-James-Bolam-Anne-Reid-Freddie-Meredith-in-FRACKED-Photo-by-Catherine-Ashmore

Deerland Energy's plans to drill for shale gas in the pretty village of Fenstock are going well. The company is looking at big profits.

They can count on the support of distinguished scientists working in University departments funded by the energy companies while at local level, Councillor Pilbeam, Chair of the Planning Committee, seems to be open to lucrative offers.

The only slight snag is a ragged band of protesters, reluctantly led by retired academic, Elizabeth Blackwood. Surely she's just another 'mad old biddy', as she's characterised by ruthless PR guru Joe Selby?

Smartly directed by Richard Wilson, the play is very funny, lighthearted, but with a deep and dark message. Highly recommended...

britishtheatreguide.com

This new razor-sharp black comedy by Alistair Beaton takes a timely look at the conflicted core of planetary energy and earthly power.

images/fracked/James-Bolam-Freddie-Meredith-in-FRACKED-at-Chichester-Festival-Theatre-Photo-by-Catherine-Ashmore

…Bolam excellent at exasperation, Reid similarly so in her depiction of a fire burning ever brighter with ever-deepening indignation – all of which adds up to a fine night at the theatre, informative, thought-provoking, but above all richly entertaining.
ChichesterObserver.co.uk

 

Fracked! OR: Please Don't use the F-Word runs from 8th July to 6th August 2016 at The Minerva Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6AP.

Creatives: 2016
Cast: 2016

Written by Alistair Beaton
Commissioned by the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Directed by - Richard Wilson
Designer - James Cotterill
Casting Director - Gabrielle Dawes
Lighting Design - Johanna Town
Sound Designer - Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Video Designer - Tim Reid

Anne Reid - Elizabeth
James Bolam - Jack
Oliver Chris - Joe
Vanessa Emme - Emma & Young Woman
Andrea Hart - Jenny & Lady Mayor
Freddie Meredith - Sam & Young Man
Sam Otto - Malik
Steven Roberts - Waiter - Policeman
Michael Simkins - Hal
Tristram Wymark - Professor Wakeman
& Neville

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