Five Reasons to See … More Light
Actor Jasper Britton is co-producing Bryony Lavery's More Light, which opens this week at the Arcola Theatre. Here, he gives us five good reasons to go along...
1) Learn some horrible history: spend an hour in the tomb of the First Emperor of China and his terracotta army along with - and here's the bit the British Museum exhibition forgot to tell you - the thousands of people he ordered to be shut in to die alongside him: those who dug, designed and built the tomb, and his concubines who had not borne him a son.
2) Come let our macabre chorus of beautiful bound-footed concubines seduce you- and then enjoy their revenge on the emperor as they eat his corpse, unbind their feet and build their own small empire in his tomb.
3) It's an undiscovered play written by the brilliant Bryony Lavery, who gave us the Tony Award-winning Frozen, and also has Kursk, a new play inspired by the 2000 Russian submarine disaster, opening at the Young Vic next month, and a new adaptation of The Wicked Lady at the New Vic in July. More Light has all the guts, intelligence and black humour you'd expect from her. Life, death, sex, art and cannibalism- this play has it all.
4) The company is a bundle of talent and energy. They use shadow puppetry, Chinese hand dance, and classical chorus to lead you on an unforgettable journey through Death's gates. The wonderful Phil McGinley (Tom Kerrigan from Coronation Street) plays a castrated convict who throws the concubines' new world into into jeopardy, and the brilliant Catrina Lear directs with astounding imagination, skill and joy.
5) The show previewed to rave reviews in a reclaimed railway arch in Peckham and sold out- it's now been snapped up and transferred to the Arcola- come and see what all the fuss is about!
More Light runs from 12-30 May 2009