Set in America's top newsrooms, Victory at the Dirt Palace revolves around a father and daughter, rivals on opposing TV channels, go head to head for the nation's attentions during a national emergency. Their battle for network supremacy becomes a national drama as scandals, terrorism and dementia threaten both of their careers.
Billed as a "tale of the US in the era of perpetual war, endless sexual misconduct ... and 24-hour TV news", the visceral piece is inspired by King Lear and influenced by the events of September 11th. The production won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel Award at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where the company was also nominated for Best Acting Ensemble.
The Riot Group are led by 23 year-old writer and director Adriano Shaplin, who is currently teaching acting at California's Berkeley University. The cast, who met at drama college in New York, are Stephanie Viola, Paul Schnabel, Drew Friedman and Adriano Shaplin. Original music is mixed live on stage throughout the performance.
Victory at the Dirt Palace continues at Riverside Studios until 1 February 2003, before visiting Dublin, Cambridge, Southampton and Manchester.
- by Terri Paddock