Tuesday 23rd May 2017 – Group discussion Talking to Terrorists

An emergency meeting was called on Tuesday morning, to discuss some potential changes to the content of our show, after the unfortunate events that took place in Manchester on Monday 22nd May 2017. One of the pieces in our show was an extract from the play ‘talking to terrorists’, which talks about the Brighton bombing attack and how the bomber feels no regret or remorse for conducting the attack. However for obvious reasons we all felt that this would no longer be appropriate and would be extremely insensitive and over stepping the mark to include, so close to the terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday night. As a group we all agreed that it was already a risk to include in the first place due to the characters lack of remorse for his actions, but after the attack on Manchester arena which targeted an audience made up of young Ariana Grande fans and parents, this was now way over the mark and could come across as being an extremely cruel angle to take. Moreover, we feared that the audience may even think that the piece had been included because of the recent terrorist attack rather than it just being an unfortunate coincidence.

We came to a mutual decision that we should cut the piece from the show and try and find another short piece that we could put in its place, so that the two actors (Lou and James) who would have been in ‘Talking to Terrorists’ would still have enough material to perform to showcase their abilities. Obviously this gives them very little time to find, learn and stage a new piece of text and so Lynn and Erica assured them that they were allowed to use clipboards to assist or prompt them if needed.

Scott suggested that they could perform the Rowan Atkinson comedy sketch ‘Welcome to Hell’ in place of ‘Talking to Terrorists’ as he had access to the monologue as it had featured in a showcase he was recently in. I thought this was such a good suggestion as not only was it really fitting of our theme ‘Saints and Sinners’ and although it was originally a monologue, the way it was written made it easy to split it up as a duologue; to top this off, in the original performance of ‘Welcome to Hell’ Rowan Atkinson had a clipboard as a prop which he used to tick of the people he was welcoming into hell, which provided Lou and James the perfect opportunity to have their scripts on stage if needed without it looking out of place. Despite this, Lynn was very clear that she didn’t want them to copy the way Rowan Atkinson performers the piece and for Lou and James to make it their own; and although I’m not directly involved in their rehearsal process I am guessing this is why the decision was made to perform the piece as holiday reps rather than the cliche devil persona often portrayed.

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Here is a clip of the original Rowan Atkinson version of ‘Welcome to Hell’:

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