The Tricycle Theatre is clearly keen to live up to the Special Award received for its “pioneering political work” at the Evening Standard Awards (See News, 27 Nov 2006). In the latest in its series of documentary-style verbatim dramas, the north London theatre will put the Prime Minister himself on trial.

This month, two leading barristers are testing the evidence – including witness testimony from MPs, diplomats, international lawyers, UN officials, intelligence experts and journalists - on whether there would be sufficient grounds to indict Tony Blair for his involvement in the Iraq war. Their reports will form the basis for the new play, with the somewhat unwieldy title Called to Account – The Indictment of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair for the Crime of Aggression against Iraq – A Hearing, which will premiere at the Tricycle on 23 April 2007 (previews from 19 April) for a limited season to 19 May.

Called to Account follows the Tricycle’s earlier pieces investigating the ongoing “war on terror” – 2004’s Guantanomo – Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, which transferred to the West End and Broadway, and 2003’s Justifying War, a dramatisation of the Hutton Inquiry into the death of government arms advisor Dr David Kelly – as well as earlier courtroom dramatisations of the Nuremberg trials, the Scott Arms to Iraq Inquiry, the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, the Hague hearings on the Srebrenica massacre and the Stephen Lawrence murder trial.

For Called to Account, the reports of the participating barristers, Philippe Sands QC for the prosecution and Julian Knowles for the defence, will once again be edited by journalist Richard Norton-Taylor and directed by artistic director Nicolas Kent, who have collaborated on many of the Tricycle’s previous verbatim dramas.

Ahead of Called to Account (See News, 30 Aug 2006), the war theme is again centre stage for the world premiere of Tamsin Oglesby’s verse play The War Next Door about a modern British couple and their concerns over their neighbours. Also directed by Kent, the cast are Lorraine Burroughs, Jonathan Coyne, David Michaels, Sonny Muslim and Badria Timimi. It runs from 6 February to 3 March 2007 (previews from 1 February).

The War Next Door is followed, from 16 March to 14 April 2006 (previews from 13 March), by the transfer of Sheffield Crucible’s acclaimed production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker - starring two of this year’s Whatsonstage.com Award nominees, Nigel Harman and Con O'Neill (click here to vote now!), as well as David Bradley (See News, 15 Dec 2006). Currently at the Tricycle, South African musical Spice Drum Beat - Ghoema, from the creators of the Olivier Award-winning Kat and the Kings, finishes its run on 27 January 2007.

- by Terri Paddock