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Splendour on Thursday 17th - Saturday 19th October 2019
Against a background of a bloody revolution, four women are waiting at a presidential residence for a dictator to arrive for a photo shoot by a renowned international photo journalist, Kathryn. Everyone is affecting friendship and calm, but as the story unravels all is not as it seems. Will the dictator ever arrive? Will any one of them walk away alive? It gradually becomes clear that he has fled, leaving his Prada-wearing wife, Micheleine, to entertain the guest. She does so with the aid of Gilma, a greasy-lipped, kleptomaniac interpreter. As the avenging crowd gets closer - hungry for blood - Micheleine offers Kathryn a somewhat different photo opportunity. Not the shot of the heroic dictator, but the 'before and after' of his kitten-heeled wife. After all, as Kathryn has realised, behind every great man…
How can she refuse?
Inevitably, Micheleine, with her love of chic shoes and handbags, brings to mind Imelda Marcos. At other times the wintry climate makes one think of the Romanian Elena Ceausescu, shot on Christmas Day 1989. But Morgan is less concerned with historical reality than with the precariousness of all four women and the provisional nature of language.
Abi Morgan is a prolific writer whose credits include the Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady, and the TV series The Hour, set in a BBC current affairs department during the 1956 Hungarian revolution. This early play, first seen at the Edinburgh Traverse in 2000, shows Morgan’s continuing fascination with the fragility of power. It is short, demanding and riveting - a powerfully relevant piece of theatre for our time.
Presented by The Play's The Thing
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