Monday, May 11, 2009

 

Breaking News, Theatre Royal Brighton

This was always going to be one of those shows where you never quite know what to expect, and you suspect the people onstage don't either.

Set in the plush surroundings of the Theatre Royal, Breaking News stripped the stage back to the bare walls, with a bank of TV monitors, cables and racking to bring us a riff on today's news from around the world.

Real-life journalists from Russia, Germany, India, Syria, Iceland and South America took us through that night's 8 o'clock news from their own country, describing the top news stories, stopping and rewinding to return to noteworthy stories, changing channels around the region to find something more interesting (it was s slow night for news), bouncing back and forth between each other.

This was interspersed with autobiographical details about each individual's career in the media, and readings from ancient Greek texts about the Persian wars, the context the modern parallel with the war in Iraq, and being a story of the bringing of bad news.

However, coming in at more than two hours in length with no break, the show could have done with some judicious editing, requiring as it did extreme concentration from the viewer. The Persian war readings just reduced those sequences to a snail's pace and added an extra unnecessary layer to an otherwise challenging show with an original and fascinating premise.

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