Absolute Beginners didn’t work as a film, but I have much higher hopes for the theatrical production at the Lyric Theatre in London, which runs from 26th April – 26th May 2007.
The plot stays faithful to the must-read book – a young modernist photographer’s take on life on the streets of late 50s West London, played out against a backdrop of emerging racial hatred – and the theatre promises sets that faithfully re-create that late 50s coffee bar vibe.
Interesting event at London’s ICA on 21st April – Freak Out, Ethel!, which is described as "an evening of musical mayhem".
What that means in reality is three bands and a play about Syd Barrett. The play is Malcolm Boyle’s one-man The Madcap – a journey into the psychedelic underground as seen through the eyes of Syd Barrett, mixing narrative with hallucinatory film, slide projections and Boyle’s own interpretations of Barrett’s songs.
Along with that, there’s live performances from The Amazing World of Arthur Brown, Circulus and The Pretty Things, plus psychedelic visuals from Optikinetics (as pictured).
Tickets are £20 / £18 (concessions) and £16 ICA Members
Find out more at the ICA website
There’s an interesting new theatrical production over at the Greenwich Theatre in London – A Model Girl – which dramatises the events of the Profumo affair in the early sixties.
It’s actually a musical, featuring new songs in the tradition of jazz, ska and beat of the era. The storyline tells the tale of how a beautiful girl comes to London, turns the heads of the rich and famous and ends up in the bed of a Minister, in the arms of a Russian spy and at the heart of the downfall of the Government.
The production, written by Richard Alexander and Marek Rymaszewski and directed by Ruth Carney, runs from Tuesday 30th February to Saturday 24th February. See the website for booking details.
Find out more at A Model Girl website
Colin MacInnes’ tale of the teenager at the turn of the sixties – Absolute Beginners – has already been a novel and a (widely panned) film. And now it’s set to be a play, debuting at London’s Lyric Theatre.
Details are so far quite sparse, but according to web sources:
"Roy Williams, Soweto Kinch and dance theatre director Liam Steel join forces to create an explosively physical evocation of sexual liberalism, gang culture and racial tension, based on Colin MacInnes’ bestseller Absolute Beginners. Set in the summer of 1958 that ends with the Notting Hill race riots, Absolute Beginners paints a vivid picture of London’s changing society and the emergence of a style-conscious youth culture, as teenagers blow away the cobwebs of post-war life and create the world anew."
It’s down for a run from 26th April 2007 to 26th May 2007 (with an official opening on 3rd May 2007). We’ll let you know more as soon as we receive further information. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the book, add it to your wants list – it’s an essential read.
Lyric Theatre website
In 1956, John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger play was almost revolutionary – part of a new movement in realism that would lead to a new wave of gritty British cinema in the late 50s and early 60s.
50 years on, it might not have the impact of its theatre debut, but it’s still a hard hitting piece of drama. To celebrate a half century of Look Back In Anger, the play returns at the Theatre Royal in Bath, directed by esteemed director Peter Gill.
The cast features Richard Coyle as the angry trumpet-playing Jimmy Porter, while Rachael Stirling plays the long-suffering wife. The production runs from August 16th to September 2nd.
Find out more from the Bath Theatre Royal website
You can’t beat a good Radio 4 play to get you through the afternoon, and if it’s got a vaguely interesting subject matter, all the better – and that’s definitely the case with Elevenses with Twiggy.
Twiggy stars as herself aged 19 in this BBC Radio 4 play about the swinging sixties. According to the BBC, the play is about two brothers who travel to London to meet the model for dinner, or to quote the press release:
‘There’s folk going to the moon and I can’t even shift myself as far as Aberdeen’. The 1960s are nearly over and young Jackie Addison is running out of time if he’s going to make it south to Swinging London.
According to Twiggy: "It’s about more than just the boys meeting their idol, it’s about life and what it offers you and how some people grasp hold of that, the road less travelled."
Make up your own mind about it by tuning into Radio 4 on 30th March at 2:15pm and tell us what you think.