Nathalie Armin, Paul Bhattacharjee, Simon Chandler, Michael Cochrane, Tariq Jordan, Belinda Lang, Shereen Martin, Daniel Rabin, Simon Rouse, Rick Warden and David Yip comprise the cast for THE BOMB – a partial history.
THE BOMB – a partial history, Nicolas Kent's final production as Artistic Director for the Tricycle Theatre, was developed after a conversation with Baroness Shirley Williams (then Adviser on nuclear proliferation to Prime Minister Gordon Brown) on why the theatre was not tackling the nuclear weapons debate as the final decision date for the Trident renewal programme was approaching in 2014.
Commissioned by the Tricycle from playwrights Lee Blessing, Ryan Craig, John Donnelly, David Greig, Amit Gupta, Zinnie Harris, Ron Hutchinson, Diana Son and Colin Teevan, THE BOMB – a partial history. The First Blast: Proliferation deals with the early political history of the Bomb and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The Second Blast: Present dangers - deals with the results of that proliferation and the present dangers that the world faces from nuclear arms in the second decade of the 21st century. Each of the two parts can be seen over two evenings or on an afternoon and evening over the weekend, from 9 February until 1 April, with the press performances on Monday 20 February 2012.
The BOMB – a partial history is directed by Nicolas Kent. Designs are by Polly Sullivan, with video design by Douglas O'Connell, lighting design by Howard Harrison and sound design by Tom Lishman. Jack Bradley is the Dramaturg for the production, Zoe Ingenhaag the Associate Producer, Tara Robinson the Assistant Director and Jack Knowles is Associate Lighting Designer.
FIRST BLAST: PROLIFERATION (1940–1992)
FROM ELSEWHERE: THE MESSAGE by Zinnie Harris
In a lab in Birmingham two physicists uncover something. If their calculation is right, it will change the course of the war, if anyone will listen.
Zinnie Harris' play The Panel was in the Tricycle's 2010 acclaimed Women, Power & Politics season. Her other writing credits include The Wheel which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival 2011 and won The Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, Fall for the Traverse Theatre, Julie for The National Theatre of Scotland, Midwinter and Solstice both for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Nightingale and Chase for the Royal Court, Further Than The Furthest Thing for The National Theatre/Tron Theatre – which won the Peggy Ramsay Playwriting Award and the John Whiting Award - and By Many Wounds for Hampstead Theatre. She also wrote a new version of Ibsen's A Doll's House for the Donmar Warehouse. She has written two 90 minute dramas for Channel 4, Born With Two Mothers and Richard Is My Boyfriend and episodes for the BBC1/Kudos Drama series Spooks. Her directing credits include Julie for The National Theatre of Scotland, Solstice and Midwinter both for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gilt for 7:84, Dealer's Choice for Tron Theatre Company, Master of the House for BBC Radio 4 and Cracked which won the 2001 Edinburgh Fringe First Award. She was Writer in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2000 – 2001.
CALCULATED RISK by Ron Hutchinson
This is the world that was made by the bomb that was dropped by the plane that we built on one day in August in 1945.
After a landslide victory in the General Election of 1945, Clement Attlee finds himself in power, and within days the A-Bomb has been dropped on Japan. The war is over, but the Iron Curtain has descended from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic. The victorious powers have to decide how to handle a nuclear world – should Britain go it alone or shelter behind America's skirts?
Ron Hutchinson's plays which have run at the Tricycle Theatre include Topless Mum, Moonlight and Magnolias and Durand's Line – part of The Great Game: Afghanistan season which ran twice at the Tricycle Theatre, before a UStour and performances for the Pentagon. His other plays include Says ISays He and Rat In The Skull for the Royal Court and an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's Flight for The National Theatre. In Spring 2009 the University of Missouri, Kansas City premiered his adaptation of Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. He is an Emmy Award winning feature and television writer whose credits include Murderers Among Us, The Simon Wiesenthal Story, The Josephine Baker Story, The Burning Season, The Ten Commandments and Traffic (USA Network mini-series) and has taught screenwriting at the American FilmInstitute.
SEVEN JOYS by Lee Blessing
A gentleman's club opens in 40s Washington with only one member, but as the years roll by membership suddenly doubles, then 2 becomes 4 and 4 becomes 8, and so on. What are the rules? And how on earth can they stop the membership proliferating? These are the worrying questions facing the founder members.
Lee Blessing's play A Walk in the Woods, covering the Cold War, ran at the TricycleTheatre in October 2011 providing an initial platform for the nuclear season this year. Blessing's play Wood For The Fire was also part of The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre/US Tour/Pentagon. Blessing's other writing credits include Eleemosynary, which earned him a 1997 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Writing and garnered three others for production, direction, and lead performance. Blessing has written other works for stage, film, and television and has won numerous awards including the American Theatre Critics Award, the Great American Play Award and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award. His script Cooperstown was made into a film that aired on Turner Network Television and, in 1993, won Blessing the Humanitas Prize and three nominations for Cable Ace Awards. His most recent works include A View of the Mountains (2011), When We Go Upon The Sea (2009), Great Falls (2008) and Lonesome Hollow (2006).
OPTION by Amit Gupta
In 1964 the People's Republic of China carried out its first nuclear weapons-test. What followed in India was an intense period of soul searching. How should a nation founded on Gandhi's principles of non-violence react?
In 1968 under increasingly intense pressure from the US and the Soviet Union to sign their jointly initiated Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, India finds herself at a crossroads.
For three leading civil nuclear scientists the politicians' decision of which path to pursue will mark a turning point in all of their lives.
Amit Gupta is a writer and director for stage and screen. His debut feature film Resistance, adapted from Owen Sheers' novel, (starring Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha, Iwan Rheon and Michael Sheen) opened in cinemas across the UK in November 2011. His follow-up feature Jadoo – which he will also write and direct - is in pre-production and will shoot in March 2012. Amit's last play, Campaign was also part of The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre/US Tour/Pentagon and his first play, Touch, won the Royal Court's Young Writer's Competition.
Amit is developing a television series Dirty Law for Channel 4, with Lydia Adetunji and Jim Manos Jr.
LITTLE RUSSIANS by John Donnelly
The Soviet Union's sudden collapse into chaos leaves the Ukraine and Kazakhstanwith their fingers still on the nuclear button. The Russians and the Americans form an uneasy alliance to try to locate the missing missiles. However, deep in the countryside, a Ukrainian family have other ideas, and seize their chance of making quick money on the black market. In an anarchic look at power and politics, the ambitions of two super-powers are tested by a wheeler-dealingpair of scrap metal merchants.
John Donnelly's plays include Bone for The Royal Court Theatre, Poll Tax Riots for Hampstead Theatre, Corporate Rock for the Latitude Festival, The Kraken Falls In Llangollen for Clwyd Theatr Cymru and The Knowledge for the Bush Theatre.
John is a past winner of the PMA Award for Best New Writer and the NSDF Sunday Times playwriting award.
SECOND BLAST: PRESENT DANGERS (1992–2012)
THERE WAS A MAN, THERE WAS NO MAN by Colin Teevan
While Israel officially has no nuclear arms programme, few doubt it has; Iran claims this gives it the right to develop its own nuclear programme. Who will be the first to blink?
When an Israeli and Iranian scientist meet at a conference in Jordan, their meeting has deep repercussions for their nations, their families and themselves.
Colin Teevan's play The Lion of Kabul was also part of The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre/US Tour/Pentagon. His other plays include How Many Miles toBasra? for West Yorkshire Playhouse, Amazonia with Paul Heritage for the Young Vic, The Diver and The Bee both with Hideki Noda for Soho Theatre, Monkey! for the Young Vic and National Theatre, Missing Persons: Four Tragedies & Roy Keane for the Assembly Rooms and Trafalgar Studios, Alcmaeon in Corinth for Live! Newcastle and The Walls for The National Theatre. His adaptationsinclude Kafka's Monkey at the Young Vic followed by a world tour, Don Quixote for West Yorkshire Playhouse and Svejk and Peer Gynt, both commissioned by The National Theatre of Scotland. Peer Gynt also had a revival at the Barbican before going on tour. His translations include Bacchai for The National Theatre, Iph for the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Cuckoos and Marathon for the Gate Theatre. Colin's writing fortelevision includes Vera for ITV and Single Handed for RTE and ITV.
AXIS by Diana Son
North Korea has always used theirnuclear programme as a bargaining chip for aid. But when they suddenly findthemselves branded as part of an Axis of Evil by the U.S, they prepare themselves for war.
Diana Son's plays include Stop Kiss, Satellites, Boy and R.A.W (Cause I'm a Woman). Stop Kiss won the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production and also ran at Soho Theatre. Diana won the Berilla Kerr Award for playwriting and was a recipient of the Brooks Atkinson Fellowship at The National Theatre. She is currently co-executive producer on CBS series The 22 and has written fortelevision series Blue Bloods, Southland, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The West Wing.
TALK TALK FIGHT FIGHT by Ryan Craig
In a room in the United Nations in New York the European delegation prepare for their next session on Nuclear Non- Proliferation with Iran. Suddenly a CIA agent is at the door with an Iranian nuclear scientist, and a new negotiation strategy emerges.Is this breakthrough to be trusted?
Ryan Craig is writer in residence at The National Theatre Studio. Ryan's plays include The Holy Rosenbergs and the English version of Tadeusz Slobodzianek's Our Class for The National Theatre, The Glass Room at Hampstead Theatre, Broken Road in Edinburgh (it also won a Fringe First Award) and Happy Savages for the Lyric Studio/Underbelly. Television writing includes the channel 4 documentary Saddam's Tribe and episodes of Robin Hood, Hustle and Waterloo Road. In 2005 he was writer in residence at BBC Radio Drama and his radio plays include English in Afghanistan, The Lysistrata Project, Hold My Breath, Portugal, The Great Pursuit and Looking For Danny.
In 2005 he was nominated in the Evening Standard Awards for Most Promising Playwright for his play What We Did To Weinstein, at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
THE LETTER OF LAST RESORT by David Greig
Britain has been devastated by a Nuclear strike and the Commander of a Trident submarine has to open his instructions: the letter of last resort. In Whitehall a woman struggles to write such a letter to an unimaginable future where the only safe place on the planet is under the sea in a submarine.
David Greig's play Miniskirts of Kabul was also part of The Great Game: Afghanistan season for the Tricycle/US tour/Pentagon and his play Damascus ran at the Tricycle in 2009. David's other work includes Dunsinane which premiered at Hampstead Theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Peter Pan for The National Theatre of Scotland, a new version of Strindberg's Creditors at BAM Harvey Theater, Midsummer for the Traverse and Soho Theatres, Brewers Fayre, Outlying Islands and Europe for the Traverse Theatre, The American Pilot for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Soho Theatre, Ramallah for The Royal Court Theatre, Pyrenees for Paines Plough and Caligula and The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union for the Donmar Warehouse. His adaptations include The Bacchae for the Edinburgh International Festival and Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, Tintin in Tibet for the Barbican in 2005 and The Playhouse in 2007, When The Bulbul Stopped Singing for the Traverse Theatre and Caligula for the Donmar Warehouse.
FROM ELSEWHERE: ON THE WATCH by Zinnie Harris
Two weapons inspectors are outside the gates of a Nuclear plant in Iran. They have just completed an IAEA routine inspection of the site, but they are troubled by possible deception and theenormity of their responsibility.
THE TRICYCLE GOES NUCLEAR
From the 9February- 1 April the Tricycle will be hosting a festival THE TRICYCLE GOESNUCLEAR comprising a film season, talks, a classical concert and exhibitions which run concurrently with THE BOMB - a partial history.
The aim of the festival will be to raise issues about nuclear proliferation, nuclear power, and to contribute towards the national debatebefore the UK makes its decision as to whether to renew Trident in 2014.
Nuclear Film Festival – 22-25 March 2012
Thursday 22 March
2.30pm THREADS (15) A documentary style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the city of Sheffield and the eventual long term effects upon civilization.
7pm LET THE WIND BLOW (HAVA ANEY DEY) An impoverished teenager in Mumbai attempts to challenge his destiny, while a nuclear threat from Pakistan becomes increasingly present on Indian news.
8.45pm Double Bill
THE WAR GAME (18) A worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is fiction.
WHEN THE WIND BLOWS (PG) An elderly couple living in the remote Sussex countryside are faced with the threat of an impending nuclear attack on the British Isles.
Friday 23 March
2.30pm Double Bill
NUCLEAR TIPPING POINT Narrated by Michael Douglas, the film presents the current nuclear threats worldwide and actions needed to be taken for a nuclear free world.
BUDDHA WEEPS IN JADUGODA An attempt to record the tragedy that has played havoc with the lives of the people of Jadugoda, India's only underground uranium mining field, as the mining industry leaves behind radioactive waste in the rice fields.
7pm BAREFOOT GEN (12A) A Japanese animation film by Keiji Nakazawa. Based on the creator's own experiences, Gen struggles with his family in wartime Hiroshima. After an explosion one morning, the young boy finds himself to be one of few survivors.
8.45pm HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (PG) In this cult classic, a French actress filming an anti-war drama in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese man. Plus LA JETÉE (PG) In a devastated Paris after World War III, survivors attempt to return to the pre-war world to retrieve food, supplies and a possible solution to their fate.
Saturday 24 March
4pm THIRTEEN DAYS (12A) A vivid dramatisation of real events in the Kennedy White House during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. For thirteen days, the world teeters on The Edge of nuclear catastrophe.
6.45pm THE ATOMIC CAFE (12A) A disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.
8.15pm DR. STRANGELOVE: OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (PG) An insane general starts a process to nuclear holocaust that a war room of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. A satirical, black comedydirected by Stanley Kubrick, starring Peter Sellers.
Sunday 25 March
3pm COUNTDOWN TO ZERO (PG) A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament.
5pm ON THE BEACH (PG) An American submarine officer falls in love with a local Australian girl as they come to terms with the impending fate of the human race after WW III. Starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire.
7.45pm DAY ONE (15) General Leslie Groves selects physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to head the Manhattan Project in the Los Alamos Laboratory, where the world's first atom bomb is built. Starring Brian Dennehy and David Strathairn.
N.B The film programme is subject to change. Please visit www.tricycle.co.uk for full information.
Wed 15 February, 8.30pm (in the Cinema)
GET UP, STAND UP – IT WILL BE A BLAST!
An evening of comedy and politics featuring a host of top comedians. Curated by WMD Awareness.
Mon 27 February, 8pm
HOW TO SPLIT THE ATOM
A lecture by an eminent scientist to explain the basic principles of nuclear fusion and fission and splitting the atom. No equipment needed and no scientific knowledge required!
Monday 5 March, 8pm
Acclaimed violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen leads the Honeymead Ensemble in an evening inspired by the nuclear season.
Shostakovich's Quartet No. 8 dedicated to "the victims of fascism and war" is coupled with Strauss's masterpiece Metamorphosen, a work of unparalleled richness and power, written during the last months of the Second World War.
Mon 12 March, 8pm
CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS EVENT
ANADYR (A reading) by Elena Gremina (translated from the Russian by Sasha Dugdale) The Cuban missile crisis, October 1962. For a week all eyes were on Kennedy and Khruschev to see who would blink first – would the Soviets try to break the blockade around Cuba? Hear the story told from a Russian perspective.
A LECTURE led by expert James Cameron (University of Cambridge) on the events of the crisis in 1962 and the American blockade.
Mon 19 March, 8pm
ASIA HOUSE DEBATE – PEACE AND SECURITY IN ASIA
The collaboration between China and Pakistan presents great concerns for the international community. Growing Pakistan's nuclear programme could ultimately force India to strengthen its own nuclear power. The arms race and its consequences will be examined in this panel discussion.
Book directly with Asia House Tel: 020 7307 5454 www.asiahouse.org
Monday 26 March 8pm
THE TRIDENT DEBATE
A panel discussion, led by Baroness Shirley Williams – the only British member on the board of the Nuclear Threat Institute in Washington DC.
The Special Events programme is continually developing. Please visit www.tricycle.co.uk for up-to-date information.
In The Gallery 6–26 Feb
An exhibition of political cartoons by Bruno Caruso, Kevin Kallaugher,
Ben McLaughlin, Ralph Steadman and Feliks Topolski giving a satirical slant on the history of nuclear warfare.
NUCLEAR CAFÉ – 27 Feb – 1 April
The artist Judy Goldhill has been granted extraordinary access to photograph several nuclear power stations around the UK, as well as examining some of the uses of nuclear power in medicine and other fields.
The Tricycle Goes Nuclear season is being sponsored by The Kobler Trust with supportfrom The National Theatre Studio and National Lottery funding through Arts Council England.
Address Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road,
London NW6 7JR
Phone 020 7328 1000
In person 10am – 9pm Monday – Saturday, 2 – 9pm on Sundays (from 12noon on performance Sundays)
PERFORMANCES Go to www.tricycle.co.uk to see calendar for details
Press performances at 2.30pm & 7.00pm – 20 Feb*
PRICES £14 Mon-Fri 8pm – one part
£25 Mon – Fri 8pm – both parts
£16 Weekend ticket for one part
£29 Weekend ticket for two parts
* Press Day 20 Feb - £20 for both parts
The Tricycle Café (servingfood) is open from 12noon to 8pm Mondays to Fridays and 10am – 8pm onSaturdays. The Tricycle Bar (serving drinks and snacks) is open from 12 noon Mondays to Fridays & from 10.30am Saturdays & closes at 11pm Mondays to Saturdays. On Sundays the Bar is open 3-9pm apart from performance Sundays when it will open at 12 noon.
Tube: Kilburn (Jubilee Line)
Bus: 16, 31, 32, 98, 189, 206, 316, 328
Train: Brondesbury (London overground)
PHOTO CREDIT – John Haynes
Michael Cochrane, David Yip in Calculated Risk
Rick Warden and Tariq Jordan in Little Russians
Shereen Martin, Michael Cochrane in Seven Joys
Simon Rouse, Rick Warden in Little Russians
David Yip and Tariq Jordan, Nathalie Armin, Rick Warden, Simon Chandler in Little Russians