Inside: Throats@The Pleasance

Running until the 27th of March.


From the Pleasance

Ground-breaking, internationally acclaimed director and playwright Gerald Thomas presents Throats. Over 33 years, Thomas has probably worked with more greats of 20th century theatre than any man alive, including Samuel Beckett as his protégée, Jerzy Grotowski, Heiner Muller, Philip Glass, and Peter Brook. Join us on this funny, dark and surprising journey through a strange and surreal world, and experience the spectacle and sheer audacity of Thomas’ work. Throats stars an outstanding company of actors and features music from former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

A Journey Through Throats:

There is a blackout inducing moment in Throats where all sense in lost, and the haze infused box in-front of you disappears, then reappears; nothing seems to have changed, but everything looks different. The moment doesn’t happen onstage, this time it is in the audience. It is the moment when, after your mind has first searched for a story, then looked for any sort of linear progression, then referenced the stage images to anything you might know about the Avant-Guarde theatre of the sixties onwards (a connection you made from looking through the programme) – from Robert Wilson and Philip Glass, to The Wooster Groups’ acid induced production of the Crucible, to the work of groups like Squat Theatre and Mabou Mines (another Becket inspired company).

After all this has been left retrospectively at the door, it is possible to really appreciate Throats; Gerald Thomas’ hell that is framed with a large gauze that covers the front of the stage, keeping the audience’s relationship to the theatre as an on-going issue. For this piece is as much, perhaps more –its avant-guarde roots and relationship to deconstructive theatre start showing here– about the expectations of theatre itself, and what us as an audience have come to expect from it, as it is about the references to 9/11 that scatter its surface.

Through all its loud sound effects, and often grotesque imagery, Throats is a subtle piece that rewards once you start to enjoy the ride; and is brilliantly summed up by its tongue-in-cheek false ending, where Thomas backhandedly gives the connection that you were looking for in that first ten minutes.

Throats will no no doubt split main-stream critical opinion; a sign that the piece is doing its job well, making it all the more important as a disruptive member of the fringe community.

Experiments with Experiences:

From Anthony Alderson, Artistic Director of The Pleasance

This is what the Pleasance Platform is here for. The charity has been presenting new work for 26 years, and now we have the thrilling opportunity to stage this event from the man who worked with Peter Brook, Heiner Muller and Beckett, and took over Grotowski’s company in Italy. To have him here, in our theatre in Islington is thrilling. THROATS is challenging and provocative, and certainly not to be missed. The theatre should always be about being directly engaged and having an experience and that’s why the Pleasance, in particular, was created. It may well be that this style of theatre has been explored in the past but it does not mean that it’s not relevant. Indeed, it’s only through this sort of work that one can really explore the boundaries of theatre. The joy of the fringe is that it’s the only place where truly adventurous and compelling work can be undertaken, and we are delighted to support it.