Review: The Bomb: a partial history – First Blast, Tricycle Theatre

“Gentlemen, let the race begin”

Nicolas Kent’s final hurrah at the Tricycle Theatre, which he has patiently nurtured into fine battling form as a theatre really at the cutting edge of hot-topic drama, is this multi-authored two-part epic – The Bomb – a partial history. Inviting nine authors to respond to the debate (or more accurately the lack thereof) around nuclear weapons, Kent has pieced together a stimulating and challenging piece of theatre, divided into two parts, which can be experienced separately on different nights or one after the other on certain days, in a seven-hour marathon, which is how I did it (and probably how I’d recommend to it). 

Part one is labelled First Blast: Proliferation and focuses on the period 1940-1992 as nuclear weapons became a horrendous reality as Japan found out to its cost and then a terrible threat to all as the Cold War descended between the superpowers of the USA and the USSR, and more and more countries sought to gain nuclear capabilities for themselves, threatening imbalances right across the globe. The attempts to control the spread of nuclear weaponry is also dealt with as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into being and international pressure exerted to try and bring everyone into the fold. Continue reading “Review: The Bomb: a partial history – First Blast, Tricycle Theatre”

Review: Seven Joys, Tricycle Theatre

Part of The Bomb: A Partial History – First Blast season at the Tricycle Theatre

“No more kimchi for you”

 Lee Blessing’s Seven Joys was the first introduction of an (initally) light-hearted note into the Tricycle’s The Bomb – a partial history. Set in a members’ club in Washington DC, the metaphor of exclusive membership to an institution is used extremely effectively to show the impossibility of maintaining exclusivity of something that is hugely desired, especially when that something is nuclear capability.

As loud American Cal revels in his club for one, helped out by faithful butler Harry, the calm atmosphere is shattered by the arrival of the blundering Russian Slava, who brings with him his symbol of eligibility of membership – a glowing egg and his Chinese chef. But as they discuss how they intend to control what it is that they possess, it turns out that their staff have now managed to become ‘members’ too – China and Britain, along with their friend Marianne, France. Continue reading “Review: Seven Joys, Tricycle Theatre”