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May 12, 2017
My Country; a work in progress, Warwick Arts Centre, May 25-27.
In the days that followed the EU referendum last summer, a team of interviewers fanned out across the country in search of ground-level opinion on the most momentous decision made by this country in decades.
The views they gathered on Brexit were emotional, honest, sometimes extreme and even funny, and now they've been given a plot and some actors and brought to the stage.
My Country; a work in progress arrives at Warwick Arts Centre on May 25 as part of a National Theatre tour of the UK that began in February. Directed by Artistic Director Rufus Norris, in collaboration with poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, it reflects the full spectrum of opinion, the good, the bad and the ugly, with Duffy blending this material with speeches from political leaders in a script brought to life by Norris and an ensemble of seven actors.
The plot sees Britannia call a meeting, at which some of her regions; Caledonia, Cymru, East Midlands, North East, Northern Ireland and South West (no room for West Midlands, then) give voice to the views of their people.
The different regions are given human shape by the actors, who discuss the relationship with the European Union and with each other in passionate debate.
Rufus Norris, who will be taking part in a post-show talk on opening night, said, "The Brexit vote unleashed a host of questions about our country, way beyond the issue of Britain's role in Europe. It articulated a deep disaffection. Those elements provoked a need and opportunity to create a piece of theatre that responds to that palpable sense of frustration and disillusionment. Art has always responded to what is happening now and it's what I hope we achieve with My Country."
The TV adaptation of My Country will be filmed at Warwick and the Arts Centre's Programme Director Julia Carruthers said, "It is an exciting opportunity for us to have such a challenging and innovative piece of theatre as part of our programme. It is extremely clever and surprisingly funny, and a completely new way of approaching the Brexit subject."
Tickets and more details from the Box Office on 024 7652 4524 or online at www.warwickartscentre.co.uk.
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