Scenes From An Execution

Scenes From An Execution

The People’s Company 2017 summer production was_Scenes from an Execution_ by Howard Barker, directed by Nikolas Partridge. Scenes From an Execution and was performed in the Drum between the 29th June – 1st July 2017

Galactia is a celebrated painter renowned for her huge political murals. When she is commissioned by the State to create a new piece commemorating their recent triumph at war she is forced to confront her role as an artist. She must choose between representing the brutal truth of the conflict or painting the State’s intended ‘glorious victory’.

“Sitting through the dark, thirty feet aloft on creaking boards, with moths gone barmy round the candles, someone’s got to speak for dead men, not pain and pity, but abhorrence, fundamental and unqualified, blood down the paintbrush, madness in the gums-”

Scenes from an Execution is a strong statement of a play. At its heart is the timeless conflict between an artist’s need to remain true to herself versus the demands of her patron. Through powerful poetic language and with a spattering of rich, dark humour this contemporary classic explores the tension between personal ambition and moral responsibility.

Howard Barker is a major writer of modern European theatre – never shy of big themes, Barker’s plays explore power, sexuality and human behaviour. His work is fiercely political, often seen as iconic and controversial, though he says he has ‘contempt for messages’ in plays and instead sees his writing as a challenge in which meaning can be found through a multitude of interpretations.

Nik Partridge is Staff Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth. Director-in-Residence at Tobacco Factory Theatres 2014-15 and BBC Performing Arts Fellow 2014, Nik’s wealth of directing credits include: the first full UK production of Chris Goode’s Infinite Lives (Tobacco Factory Theatres), Bruises by Kieran Hurley (Royal Court), 140 Million Miles by Adam Peck (Traverse/Oran Mor/Tobacco Factory Theatres). As Associate Director: Hetty Feather (West End & UK Tour), Macbeth (Filter Theatre). Nik is also a National Theatre Connections Director.