Banksy was in LA for the Oscars when he sprayed ‘THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT’ on an old water tank. The tank was residence for a local legend, Tachowa Covington, who over seven years had furnished it with carpets, a stove – even CCTV. As news spread of Banksy’s latest work, a consortium of art dealers soon appeared to repossess the water tank. Suddenly, Tachowa was homeless again…
Starring Gary Beadle – best known as Eastenders’ Paul Trueman as well as acclaimed roles in the Royal Court’s Sucker Punch and Chichester Festival Theatre’s Blue Remembered Hills – this is a story about creating something from nothing and then having it taken away, in the name of art.
Tom Wainwright’s wildly successful play, originally commissioned by Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres and a Play, a Pie and a Pint at Òran Mór, was a sell out at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and now joins us at Arcola Theatre as part of a national tour.
Tom Wainwright has written for Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Bristol, the egg and Hull Truck; previous works including Muscle and Buttercup. Banksy: The Room In The Elephant is directed by Associate Director of the Traverse Theatre and Co-artistic Director of Theatre Uncut, Emma Callander.
The play will be followed by a screening of Something from Nothing, documentary maker Hal Samples’ short film about Tachowa and the tank, edited from material gathered over 7 years.
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“A vital piece of 21st century drama, about who gets to hold the camera, to define what is art, and to shape the stories we hear; and whose life finally counts.”
“One minute he has the audience belly-laughing, with a deft twist seconds later we’re silenced as tears stream down his face.”
The Big Issue
“Fascinating and thought-provoking. (…) An elusive and fascinating piece”
★★★ The Guardian
“A rather shocking commentary on the reality of the marginalised” and “fascinating and fantastically moving”
The Public Reviews
“Tom Wainwright’s script has a poetic pulse that seduces us without our even being conscious of its touch”
A Younger Theatre
“Gary Beadle’s performance is nothing short of sensational – you will be hard pressed to see a better stage performance this year”
“A sharply tailored piece of theatre, rich in self-awareness and not poor in dramatic quality either”
★★★★ Plays To See
Opening performances (1 – 5 April) – all tickets £12
Saturday matinees at 3.00pm – £14 (£12 concessions)
Pay What You Can Tuesdays (tickets in person from 6.30pm – limited and subject to availability)
Recommended for ages 12+ due to strong language
Running time is approximately 2hrs including an interval
A production by Tobacco Factory Theatres and The Sum .