Excluded is a powerful and urgent piece of new writing that delves into the lives of our young people in education and holds a mirror up, unearthing their issues and exposing a system that ignores some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Written by Intermission Theatre’s Artistic Director Darren Raymond, Excluded follows on from the critical success of his previous re-imagined production Othello: Remixed. This new work, transplants Shakespeare’s most iconic characters into a classroom setting, and interweaves 400-year-old verse with new dialogue to give fresh relevance.
It’s 2019, inner city London. Hamlet is grieving, Othello accused and Isabel forced against her will. Just some of the goings on at William High as Shakespeare’s most iconic characters prepare to sit their GCSEs.
Miss Portia has her work cut out as she battles to navigate this class into the next chapter of their lives… However, things take a turn for the worse when, unbeknown to her, Cassius decides to lead a conspiracy to bring down Caesar. Tensions are rife and tempers high as they move toward an act of violence that could change their lives forever.
This production will be performed by the organisation’s youth arm - Intermission Youth Theatre (IYT) -which uses drama to engage vulnerable young people lacking in opportunity from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Greater London. The current cohort of 38 young people, who are part of a 10-month drama programme, also performed this year in Shakespeare’s Walks and Shakespeare within the Abbey with Shakespeare’s Globe. IYT Patrons include Naomie Harris and Sir Mark Rylance.
Naomie Harris comments: “I love the work these young people perform. They are inquisitive, full of fun, energy, creativity and raw talent. They give voice to important issues facing them today and I can’t wait to see them in Darren’s vision for this latest production.”
Darren Raymond adds: “School is an important chapter that shapes all of our lives. With a record number of teachers leaving the profession, the exclusion of the arts in the curriculum and high levels of student exclusions, some would argue that education is in a state of crisis. With this in mind, I wanted to transplant some of Shakespeare’s characters into a school and see how they might have performed. So many of them have these human complexities that often landed them in troubled waters. This story aims to explore the relationships they might have developed that could have compelled them into the moments when we meet them in Shakespeare’s plays – all the while shining a light on the urgent issues our young people are facing in education today.”
Intermission Youth Theatre has been creating reimagined Shakespeare plays since 2008, exploring the Bard’s work through the eyes of a diverse company. This renowned organisation has a long-standing association with the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe. Since inception, IYT has engaged with well over 6,000 young people across the UK through its programmes in schools, pupil referral units, young offender institutions and prisons.
Directed by: Darren Raymond
Set Design: Catherine Morgan
Lighting Design: Julian McCready
Costume Design: Elleshia Flowers
Intermission Theatre, St Saviour’s Church, Walton Place, London, SW3 1SA
Wed 6 –Sat 30 Nov, 7.30pm
Tickets - £20, Conc. £13, Under-12 £7
Booking link - https://intermissiontheatre.ticketabc.com/events/excluded