“The Riots,” a play derived from spoken evidence of the civil unrest that swept across London in August this year, will kick off the season at London’s Tricycle Theater as part of a three-play slate.
“Riots,” by Gillian Slovo and directed by Nicolas Kent — who is leaving the North London venue in 2012 after 28 years at the helm — continues Kent’s tradition of verbatim dramas drawn from real-life political events. Prior outings include “Guantanamo — Honor Bound to Defend Freedom,” which transferred to the West End and New York and was performed at the U.K.’s Houses of Parliament and on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Slovo’s play, which runs Nov. 17-Dec. 20 with a press night set for Nov. 22, draws on everything from tweets by taxi drivers to moment-by-moment accounts by riot police in order to build a real-time picture of the riots as they unfolded. Its analysis of what happened and why will be taken from interviews with politicians, teachers, lawyers and community leaders as well as victims and onlookers.
Other plays in Kent’s final season include the first revival of Marie Jones’ comedy “Stones In His Pockets,” helmed by Indhu Rubasingham. Previewing from Dec 15, it opens Dec. 20.
Kent’s farewell will be “The Bomb — A Partial History in Two Parts.” Running Feb. 9-April 1, it consists of two full evenings of short plays commissioned from Lee Blessing, Ryan Craig, John Donnelly, David Greig, Elena Gremina, Amit Gupta, Zinnie Harris, Ron Hutchinson, Diana Son and Colin Teevan.The first of the two parts, “First Blast (1940-1992),” looks at Britain’s involvement with the building of the atomic bomb through the Cuban missile crisis to the development of India’s bomb and the break-up of the Soviet Union. Latter seg, “Second Blast (1992-2012),” looks at Israel’s and Iran’s nuclear capability, the “axis of evil” and North Korea through to current negotiations with Iran.
The Tricycle Theater’s production of slapstick Hitchcock spoof “The 39 Steps” hit Broadway in 2008 and then shifted to Off Broadway a couple of years later. Last season its Aghanistan-themed marathon “The Great Game: Afghanistan” had a run Off Broadway.