An edited and updated version of the Tricycle Theatre’s Guantanamo, which transferred to the West End’s New Ambassadors Theatre after its initial run in May 2004, will be presented on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on 6 April 2006. The aim of the congressional performance is to draw to the attention of the American government the injustice suffered by those in Guantanamo Bay. In particular, the showing aims to highlight the plight of the nine British residents being held indefinitely without trial. UK charity Reprieve – who presented a production of the political drama at the House of Commons last month (See The Goss, 7 Feb 2006) - and the American Center for Constitutional Rights will put on Nicholas Kent and Sacha Wares’ production, which transferred to the Culture Project in New York (where Archbishop Desmond Tutu played the part of Lord Steyn for two performances) and to San Francisco following the West End. The script is entirely based on personal testimonies from the families of the prisoners as well as statements from lawyers, government spokesmen, medical experts and other commentators. Set in Camp Delta, the piece focuses on Britons and British residents, some of whom have been detained by the US government without charge, trial or no effective access to law since 2001. The updated, 90-minute version of Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo’s verbatim drama will feature British actors Philip Battley, Paul Bhattacharjee, Daniel Cerqueira, Jan Chappell, Bill Hoyland, Aaron Neil, Tariq Jordan, Alan Parnaby, Andrew Stewart-Jones, and Badi Uzzaman. Gitanjali S Gutierrez, an attorney with the Center of Constitutional Rights who recently returned from Guantanamo, said: “Guantanamo is a powerful piece of theatre. I hope many members of Congress take the time to attend this event and see exactly what the policies of the Bush Administration mean to the men who are still being held there." Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, Vanessa Redgrave will be performing for one night only in The Exonerated, an American verbatim drama based on interviews with people who were formally on death row, on 4 May 2006, also in aid of Reprieve (See News, 23 Mar 2006). Reprieve currently represents over 30 prisoners in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay. It also fights for the lives of people facing the death penalty around the world.
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