A new play from Howard Barker, Blok/Eko is getting its world premiere at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, and it comes from a unique partnership and Barker’s residence as Creative Fellow at Exeter University.
The premiere of Blok/Ek marks a new collaboration between universities and theatres, research councils and writers.
Three partners Exeter University, The Northcott Theatre and the Wrestling School Theatre Company, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, have taken an innovative approach to the challenge of getting experimental playwriting commissioned and performed on stage.
It is driven by Barker’s research, an investigation into what is too much and too little on stage – plethora and bare sufficiency.
Barker has not only written but is also directing this play and so will be transforming his artistic vision from page to stage.
It is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Creative Fellowship programme, which has enabled Exeter University’s Drama department to collaborate with artists of national and international repute, whose works have high public and popular profiles. Barker has been described by The Times as ‘Britains greatest living dramatist’.
The play is set in a world where all the doctors have been killed by the order of ageing despot Eko in order to let the poets become the healers, and is a large-scale drama about death and its status in the world. Eko deliberately exposes her greatest poet Tot to a life of crime, poverty and humiliation in order to extract from him his finest work