Power, protest, control goes under microscope at Sheffield Drama Studio

Dead CatsDead Cats
Dead Cats
A new play coming to Sheffield examines power, corruption and lies in contemporary politics.

In Proto-type’s new show Dead Cats (coming to Sheffield Drama Studio on 14 November), two characters are in the kind of room where they use phrases like collateral damage, like extraordinary rendition, and like perception management. They cover up their dirty words with clean ones, in rooms like this. In rooms like this the language is laundered, and they redact the names.

Focussing on media manipulation, governmental lies, political protest, secrecy, democracy, power, and influence, Dead Cats blends new writing, performance, film-making, and an obvious plant. It shows, rather than tells, the truths behind the fictions. In the witty script by Andrew Westerside, the conversation between unnamed character A (Gillian Lees) and character B (Rachel Baynton) sees them, spar, argue and banter – papering unsavoury truths over with more palatable interpretations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Following its premiére at Köln’s Theatreszene Europa Festival, Dead Cats tours Britain in October and November before picking up again in January, March, April and May. Gillian Lees said ‘In Dead Cats we are investigating the narratives of modern politics and the hierarchies of control that occur through the manipulation of language. That manipulation, of language, of 'truth', allows for the manipulation of reality and in turn, how we form our world view’.

‘As recent government announcements and retractions have so clearly (if clumsily) illustrated, it’s all about the game - all about the winning - for our politicians, and they’ll redefine anything and everything to meet their ever-changing agenda’ added Rachel Baynton. Writer and Director Andrew Westerside explained ‘Cronyism is at the root of much political influence, and the route to political influence is corruption and spin, utilising various mechanisms for presenting alternative truths. Or lies if you prefer’.

Dead Cats is the third contemporary stage-play in Proto-type’s critically acclaimed Truth to Power Project, their socially-engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control, and firmly embedded in the present day international political arena.

Monday, November 14 at 8pm Sheffield Drama Studio Shearwood Road S10 2TD. £13 (£8 concs, £6 students) 0333 666 3366 www.performancevenues.group.shef.ac.uk

Related topics: