NEWS: Cloud 9 @ Washington Arts Centre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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In 1978, Caryl Churchill penned a two-act play called Cloud 9; it was something of a controversial manuscript, with the added injection of frank portrayals of sexuality and obscene language shocking audiences at its première in 1979. There’s more to Churchill’s play than just profanity and a bit of nudity though; buried within its text is a deep examination of the parallels between colonial and sexual oppression.

Sunfest have decided to take on Cloud 9 as part of their programme of events, and it should be intriguing to see whether they can pull off the warped narrative in their own production. Set both in the Victorian era and 70s Britain, only twenty five years pass for every character involved, making its portrayal of time and space somewhat baffling. Nevertheless, this helps to underpin the idea that the colonial attitudes of Victorian times are a metaphor for sexual oppression. There’s light at the end of the tunnel though. With carnivalesque humour and a life-affirming moral, Cloud 9 is well worth a watch for anyone interested in gender and sexual politics, or with an interest in controversial works of literature.

Cloud 9 comes to the Washington Arts Centre on Saturday 2nd May.

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