David Cameron is a lot of things, and an inspiration for playwrights isn’t the first thing that springs to mind, but the first in-house production for the autumn season at the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter, has been inspired by the politician’s inelegant politicking when he announced ‘state multi-culturalism in the UK has failed’.
The dark comedy, A Play Concerning a Farmer’s Radical Attempt to Restore his Land to its Supposed Former Glory and the Differing Reactions of his Children or Bunnies for short, was submitted to a call from the Bike Shed Theatre for up-and-coming playwrights to respond to David’s dodgy declaration.
Of the more than 80 that were submitted, seven made it through to the New Blood Festival, and Bunnies was so successful that directors Fin Irwin and David Lockwood commissioned a full-length version.
“The play is about a farmer who is having some problems on his land and he comes up with a solution, in his mind, which is to get rid of every species of animal that is non-native,” said playwright Kieran Lynn, who has also put the Italian neo-realist classic The Bicycle Thieves on the stage.
“The inspiration, I think, although this may not have been where the initial idea came from, looking back, it must have come from certain groups in Britain who are proposing similar solutions for ’Human problems’, shall we say.
“I think my plays are political… although I wouldn’t necessarily say they would be classed as political plays, I would say they were first and foremost comedy, with perhaps a political backdrop. Or possibly just with a political element. But I think first and foremost I try to write comedy.”
Bunnies will run from November 2-19. Performances start at 7:30pm. Tickets are available from The Exeter Phoenix on (01392) 667 080 or online at www.bikeshedtheatre.co.uk
(image: Michael Woodman as Max (left) and Stewart Lydonn as Stamper (right). Courtesy of Robert Darch)
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