Building theatre around events that could happen in the future seems to be a trend. Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III depicted a broken society after Queen Elizabeth’s reign and now a new London play is set in the moments after Trump.
Building The Wall, which opens at the Park Theatre on 2 May is set in 2019 after a wall between Mexico and the United States has been built.
The play is sensationally billed as a “dystopian thriller” which explores the fallout after the wall has been built.
The play, which is receiving its UK premiere is from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning writer Robert Schenkkan.
Building The Wall’s central character is Rick, who is in prison for committing the worst crime of the century. His incarceration generates press interest and he agrees to be interviewed by one woman, Gloria an African-American historian.
With the play’s political messaging tied into the whole Fake News saga, the play explores how a message of truth can be communicated in today’s media.
Gloria represents Nick’s one shot at getting his truth across.
The play has teased its mission statement ahead of opening: “Shit rolls downhill and the little guy takes the fall while the people who really set things in motion, they always walk. Always.”
TV actress Angela Griffin plays journalist Gloria. Her past work includes Lewis, Brief Encounters and Ordinary Lies, all for television. She recently starred in the West End’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Rick is played by Trevor White, whose film credits include The Dark Knight Rises, Jason Bourne and American Assassin. He starred in The Machine at the Donmar, and Macbeth at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
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“I wrote Building the Wall in October, 2016, before the Presidential election because even then it seemed to me that real and lasting damage had been done to the American republic” director Robert Schenkkan says.
“The consequences of that election have certainly born out my presentiment, but it is important to remember that Trump is only a uniquely American expression of a problem currently facing all the Western Democracies – the rise of right-wing, nationalist movements.”
“The real danger lies in the ways in which political leaders and ordinary people excuse, rationalize, and even seek to justify such dangerous sentiments. The results, as history has shown us time and again, are disastrous. The UK is not immune to these baleful currents. It is hardly a coincidence that Trump has approvingly quoted Britain First. As always, the triumph of evil requires only that good men do nothing.”
Building The Wall runs at the Park Theatre 2 May – 2 June