Theatre in Wales

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Funny, thought provoking and very moving

At Theatr Clwyd

Theatre Clwyd Company- The Assassination of Katie Hopkins , Theatre Clwyd , May 2, 2018
At Theatr Clwyd by Theatre Clwyd Company- The Assassination of Katie Hopkins A New Musical.
Words by Chris Bush Music by Matt Winkworth.
Theatr Clwyd, Mold.

I have a confession to make. Until four days before I saw this musical I had no idea if Katie Hopkins was fictional or a real person. However, the ladies in my U3A poetry reading group were able to bring me up to speed. So I arrived at Theatr Clwyd knowing that she is a woman of strong, controversial opinions with a massive internet following.

Strictly speaking this is not about her assassination but about its aftermath, particularly as reflected on social media. In fact the prevalence of mobile devices during the drama gives a bracing shot of irony to the request to ensure that all mobiles be turned off.

It took me a little while to relax into the overlapping voices and the lights and projections on the giant, moveable screens that dominate the space. However, when I did I found myself totally caught up in this world where gossip can be spread instantly, where people are eager to believe no matter how inappropriate the views, where the most unlikely people can be turned into secular saints by death and where genuine tragedy can be sidelined by newsworthy hysteria.

The cast of eight are not only talented, they also have to be very energetic to keep up with the pace of the production and indeed the pace of the music. I didn't exactly come out whistling Matt Winkworth's score but it does its job well, often fragmented into staccato bites.

Chris Bank's script is often very funny, at times moving, certainly thought-provoking and always entertaining. James Grieve's directing keeps things shifting along at a furious pace, aided by Lucy Osborne's metallic set with its moveable staircases as well as the spectacular screens.

Ultimately a rousing success that confirms my decision to opt out of social media.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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