STAGE REVIEW: Illegalised @ Northern Stage, Newcastle (23.05.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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I did wonder, as I was strolling home from voting in the European elections today, whether the show I was due to see in the evening would end up covering us all in banana and salted caramel milkshakes. The promo material for Bezna Theatre’s Illegalised declared seething contempt for the British State’s immigration policies and I was keen to see how it would be received in the mostly Leave voting North East.

Illegalised packed all its issues into an engaging ninety minutes, fuelled by humanitarian rage and despair, which did better when it drew attention to the cruelty of anodyne bureaucracy rather than pain compliance techniques. Sure, there were some Pythonesque caricatures wheeled out to underline just how rotten British colonialists are/were, compensated by a fizzing performance from Lizzie Clarke who must surely be first in line to play Olivia Colman if ever a movie is made of her life.

Like most shouty, ranty things this polarising production will either boost your beliefs (HOORAY!), or send you to the naughty corner (BOO!), where you should immediately begin to purify yourself of the filth of hypocrisy. There’s little room for subtlety or debate, but isn’t that what activist intersectional theatre is all about?



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