The DCH Blog
Nine Lives - Thursday 24th November 2016
Performed at Diss High School as part of the Corn Hall on Tour programme, Nine Lives rattled through its narrative with a brisk vitality that belied its grim subject matter. Gripping its attentive audience from the outset, this was issue-based theatre at its very best.
Zodwa Nyoni’s stark prose was unflinching in its examination of the cruelty, prejudice and loneliness that refugees can suffer, but far from being unremittingly bleak, Nine Lives was leavened with levity, pathos, and a celebration of the human spirit. Lladel Bryant was outstanding as Ishmael, a gay man seeking asylum from homophobic Zimbabwe. Although his was a solo performance, it was so much more than an extended monologue. Using a multitude of voices, he conjured up a vivid portrait of the disaffected and the dispossessed, with little more than a suitcase and a light bulb.
This is not a play that strives for balance. It’s an angry, impassioned and unapologetic attack on political expediency and xenophobia that occasionally teeters close to polemical rhetoric. For the most part, however, it is plea for a tolerance and understanding, with an abiding message of hope that what unites us, not divides us, will ultimately triumph. It was a message the largely youthful audience was clearly inspired by.
by David Vass
Grease Sing-a-long - screening Weds 23rd November - Friday 18th November 2016
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie has been rescheduled to screen on Weds 11th January due to a delay in the availability of the DVD. But we have something which will be just as much fun - the sing-a-long version of Grease, the most successful movie musical of all time!
Starring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, Grease revels in it's retro subject of 1950's America, teen romance and the adventures of a group of high school kids and features some of the most exuberant and showstopping numbers ever filmed.
Our venue - Diss High School - couldn't be more apt, so grab a gang and sing-a-long to all the hits. We'll be selling Prosecco to give the evening even more fizz. Bobby sox and ponytail or spandex catsuit and big hair - the choice is yours!
Dheepan - a pre-screening review - Sunday 6th November 2016
Jacques Audiard’s films often focus on the marginalized, the criminal, and the displaced. Dheepan is no exception, it being a timely reminder of the horrors that have been encountered by refugees in their places of birth, and the challenges they continue to face in their adoptive countries.
Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, and Claudine Vinasithamby play a man, woman and child – each a stranger to the others – bound together by an audacious attempt to escape Sri Lanka using the passports of a dead family. Their performances are achingly authentic and if not for a finely crafted script, a compelling narrative and a superb supporting cast, this unremittingly bleak portrait of life on a French sink estate might be a challenge to sit through. Sit through it one must though, if only to be rewarded by the startling gear change of the final act – a superbly choreographed and hugely cathartic dénouement – the detail of which shouldn’t be spoiled here.
It’s an ending that has been widely and vociferously criticised, to the point of questioning the Palme d’Or prize, but this surely spectacularly misses the point of what Audiard is trying to say. For too long refugees have been emasculated, not only by circumstance and governments but by their portrayal by a patronising media. Audiard’s explosive ending reminds us these are tough, resourceful people who have come from a dangerous place, and whose self-determination is as important as their welfare.
By David Vass