Paul Mason's play about protest meets with a mixed reaction

Written by James Millar on 31 March 2017 in Culture

Corbyn supporting journalist's show ran for three nights at London's Young Vic theatre

After Paul Mason’s play based on his book ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere’ closed last night the critics have had their say today. Some chose to put the boot in but most broadly agreed with The Stage’s summing up that the piece was “fascinating, but flawed.”

The former BBC and Channel 4 journalist has become a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and radical left politics in recent years.

His 2011 book followed the Arab Spring and examined the rise in protest movements across the world. He has adapted it for the stage and appears in the piece that looks at a broad sweep or protest through history and sees him re-enact encounters in Egypt and Greece. Footage of the show’s run is expected to be edited into a TV version that will air later this year.

However, depending on your critic of choice, it might not be worth setting your recorder for.

Anne Treneman in The Times described it as a “revolutionary ego trip”, claimed she would have walked out if she could have and gave it just one star out of five, while Alice Jones in the i newspaper said it veered close to being a one-man lecture.

However the Evening Standard gave it three stars and said: “The show cherishes theatre’s possibilities as a political instrument.” The Guardian, for whom Mason is a columnist, went one better awarding the show four stars and praising it as “galvanising stuff” and predicting: “This is a piece of theatre that could run and run.”





Picture credit:  Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

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