Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
by Steven Berkoff
Cast & Crew
Dad Andrew Cook
Mum Athony Quinn
Sylv Debbie Samwell
Les Mark Harris
Mike Gavin Hassan
Director Rob Kendall
Prompt Richard Thomas
Costumes Clare Brittain
Light & Sound Richard Walker, Lights & Works
Box Office Greta Hendy
Bar Manager John Clarke
Programme Design George Hammerschmidt
A scene from East
Production No. 302
Rob Kendall, director
East was first performed in 1975 at the Edinburgh Festival with Steven Berkoff in the role of Mike; he also produced the play. Since that time, East has been revived a number of times and the Masque Theatre production will be its premiere performance in Northampton.
Although it was written nearly twenty-five years ago, the language and the themes of the play are meant still to shock, equally there is a dark humour below the language and overall narrative of the text which, if you think of the characters as real people, allows them to manage their lives.
All of the characters have hopes and dreams and some of these are based in the past like Dad‘s need to get back to the thirties when Ozzie (Oswald Mosley) paraded the East End; equally they see as treasured moments the times that the children were young and harmless at the seaside or the fair. Mike, Les and Sylv inhabit a different world though. The London of the Krays and the open razor are more familiar territory for them where a night at the Lyceum, a roar on a motorbike down the new M1 or a ferocious punch up create the borders of their lives.
As a sub-text to the action the women of the play also want to be noticed and given some value - Sylv at least is able to challenge in part the man‘s world.
Directing the play has allowed the actors to work well together in an atmosphere that is exciting and developed through improvised work a full interpretation of the text. Although nineteen scenes sounds daunting for the audience some are as swift as the dialogue and only last for a minute while some are elegiac.
Any audience should sit back and allow the anger, friendship and passion to well over them and come away with Berkoff's semi-autobiographical impression of the East End.
9 - 12 December 1998
Northampton College Studio Theatre, Booth Lane, Northampton
Page last updated: 10/02/2013 Masque Theatre © 2013