England People Very Nice (Oberon Modern Plays)
Which is racist and untrue. I hope the physical comedy was except Four acts bracketed by a fairly incoherent framing device about the Home Office granting right to remain, written by someone who seems not to have bothered researching how the Home Office works.
I hope the physical comedy was exceptional when this drivel was staged. Apr 22, Chloe Price rated it liked it. I'm not sure what to make of this book. Obviously, I hate the racism. But I can understand the point of it. It makes you think about the ideas circulating society, and to question your own attitudes. I didn't know enough about the history of England to get all of the jokes, so a lot of it went over my head.
There were some funny, non-racist lines in there which did make me laugh. Feb 12, Raquel rated it it was amazing. Read this for a class and I absolutely loved it. Hilarious and poignant. Wish I could have seen I performed. Dec 12, Kate rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , historical-fiction , read-unowned , play. I saw the play in London, then I read it. Sheer brilliance!! I adored it, despite the colorful language and the controversy it caused.
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Expected to arrive within business days. Your satisfaction is very important to us. Sophie Stanton's explosive barmaid gurns expletively away in the face of all new arrivals; her doleful, loquacious suitor offers eloquent explanations of her many "wotsit"s. Smartly, Trevor Laird's West Indian pundit is an Enoch Powell figure, sitting glumly over his beer, opining that any newcomers are likely to cause "rivers of blood".
No, of course not. England People Very Nice is self-consciously crude. It keeps pointing out that it's not the real thing.
That it is, in fact, a play within a play. Its episodes of immigrant life are framed - too sketchily, but framed nevertheless - by a darker world. They are supposed to have been devised by a group of asylum-seekers who are waiting to hear whether they have been granted residence in the UK.
Theatre review: England People Very Nice, Olivier, London SE1 | Stage | The Guardian
At the back of the perky graphics there is a wire-mesh fence and a lot of cheap wooden partitions. Behind a drama which rolls from insult to assimilation are more awkward and pressing dilemmas. Beneath the pop-up national characteristics are a series of modern folk figures: the Palestinian who can't speak without becoming convulsed by an anti-Israeli tirade; the Serbian who smokes as if inhaling was like brain surgery; the Azerbajani who can't help but share his flaky proverbs.
There is, this play says, no end to pigeonholing people. There does, however, come an end to pigeonholing particular people. In Bean's play, grimness and gaiety are intertwined: England People Very Nice looks as if it's driven by a motor of resentment: each scene begins with revulsion at the newcomers and ends with an expulsion of the old residents.
And yet in each episode the idea of Englishness is remade by romance. The miraculously morphing Terry, who will make her name with this play, has her match in Sacha Dhawan , who becomes her suitor as, in turn, a lanky Norfolk weaver, a randy priest and a gifted typographer from the east with an idea for a portable pen: "Mr Aaron Biro, you're a clever clogs.
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And just look at that for a minute: the same actors are in turn Asian, Jewish, ranting, woolly-hatted BNP members. Change isn't just talked about: it's embodied.
At the end of the evening there's not a character onstage who isn't mixed, while not being muddled. And there's unlikely to be an audience member who doesn't feel slightly disoriented, and perhaps confronted. It is, after all, fairly easy to ho-ho at the prejudices of the 18th century; it's harder to chuckle at scenes in which young Muslim blokes seem to be rapping away from any idea of belonging to Britain.