The Dubya Trilogy - written and directed by Justin Butcher – comprises The Madness of George Dubya, A Weapons Inspector Calls and the world premiere of Guantanamo Baywatch. The plays, performed by a 14-strong cast, run in repertory from 19 October to 20 November 2004, with full trilogy days every Thursday and Saturday.
Originally seen on the London fringe, The Madness of George Dubya transferred to the West End’s Arts Theatre for an extended run in spring/summer 2003, during the height of the Iraq War. In the update of Dr Strangelove, tension is mounting in the Gulf, war drums are beating in Britain and America, when the commanding general of a US air base in Britain, who’s gone 'a little funny in the head' orders his airborne division, each armed with countless megatons of nuclear missiles, to attack their primary targets in Iraq.
The follow-up piece, A Weapons Inspector Calls, based on JB Priestley's classic 1946 thriller, premiered at Theatro Technis in Islington, north London, in December 2003. On the eve of the US presidential elections, the polls have opened and President George Dubya and his cronies are gathered in the Oval Office to celebrate his imminent re-election. But when a ghostly Weapons Inspector turns up, having spent the past 18 months and $900 million trawling the Middle East for the fabled WMD, he has questions to ask all of those gathered around the festive table.
The final play in the trilogy, Guantanamo Baywatch (pictured), concerns sand, sea, sex and prisoner abuse. A holiday in Guantanamo Bay with Dubya, Tony, Laura and Cherie (with Yasmina the Cleaner from The Madness of George Dubya lurking in the background) metamorphoses into an insane cocktail of Alice in Wonderland and The Great Escape.
The Dubya Trilogy cast are: Russell Boulter, Jamie Bower, Stephen Chance, Alasdair Craig, Stephen Daltry, Mat Dominic, Dean Kelly, Gemma Larke, Barbara Hastings, Mark Heenahan, Harry Napier, Rupert Mason, Jack Wood and Jonah Russell.
All three plays are written and directed by Butcher, whose other writing credits include the Whatsonstage.com Award-winning Scaramouche Jones. They are designed by Cordelia Chisholm, with lighting by Mike Gunning, sound by Jack Arnold and choreography by Carolene Hinds, and produced by McLaren Burnell Ltd and Passion Pit Theatre.
The Dubya Trilogy will be followed at the New Players Theatre by the London debut of American stand-up Margaret Cho, whose own politically-charged show State of Emergency, will have a limited five-week season from 30 November 2004 to 1 January 2005.
- by Terri Paddock