Live audience set to return for Company of Ten production at Abbey Theatre

PUBLISHED: 20:11 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 20:18 25 September 2020

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

Anne Frizell

A powerful, gripping and disturbing dystopian drama set in America under the Trump administration will be the Company of Ten’s next production in St Albans.

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne FrizellBuilding the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

Building the Wall by Robert Schenkkan is set in an interview room at El Paso County Jail, Texas, in a fictional near future in which President Donald Trump has been impeached.

Rick, who had been in charge of a private prison, is awaiting sentencing for the crime of the century and grants one interview to tell his side of the story to Gloria, an African-American history professor.

As the enormity of his crime becomes clear, the play explores how an ordinary person caught up in extraordinary circumstances can become responsible for an unimaginable situation.

The play reflects what might have been the consequences of “Trump’s deliberately incendiary rhetoric on immigration and border security with its naked appeals to racism, nativism and violence”, according to the playwright, following a fictional terrorist attack.

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne FrizellBuilding the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

Written in just one week in October 2016, the play had simultaneous productions open across the world early in 2017, shortly after Donald Trump was inaugurated as US President.

It contains strong language appropriate to the context, which may offend.

Director Tina Swain said: “What appeals to me about this play is how it affects our responses to the questions it raises, which may fluctuate between repulsion and a reluctant understanding of his dilemma as being one in a long chain of responsibility with a lot of people to answer to.”

Performances will be streamed and take place in the main auditorium at the Abbey Theatre from Tuesday, October 13 to Saturday, October 17 at 8pm.

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne FrizellBuilding the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

“We’re excited to be preparing to have a small audience in the theatre watching alongside the live-stream audience tuning in from home,” added Tina.

“The opportunity to share this play with others in the same space is the essence of theatre, and something we have all missed over the past six months.

“Rehearsals for Building the Wall began in February, and when lockdown came, it seemed that despite the work already accomplished, the play would be cancelled.

“Luckily, the theatre was able to renegotiate the licence for the new dates and Robert Schenkkan has given permission for the production to be live-streamed.”

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne FrizellBuilding the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

To book tickets please go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne FrizellBuilding the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell

Building the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne FrizellBuilding the Wall will be the Company of Ten’s next production at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. Picture: Anne Frizell


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