Factory Plays – A Series of Free Readings

Occupations by Trevor Griffiths,  Saturday 28th January, 6pm

The Slackers by Peter Turrini, Saturday 4th February, 6pm

Machine Diary by Suzuki Matsuo, Saturday 11th February, 6pm

What Happened After Nora Left Her Husband by Elfriede Jelinek,  Saturday 18th February, 6pm


Admission to all four readings is FREE.


2006 marks the Arcola’s fifth anniversary. Until five years ago, the venue was a clothes factory. To celebrate the heritage of the building, the Arcola presents a programme of readings, organised by Blue Hug theatre company, which explore the role of the factory in the work of four highly reputed yet rarely performed international playwrights.


Occupations by Trevor Griffiths (UK)
Saturday 28th January, 6pm

Directed by: Cat Totty
Cast: Barnaby Kay, Lucy Anne Holmes, Jamie Newall, Jimmy Barriscale, John Cummins, Kate Lynn Hocking, Adam Kay, David Mara

Turin, 1920. The workers have taken over the factories: a nationwide revolution seems possible. Kabak, a communist party official, has been sent by Lenin to intervene. The future hangs in the balance. “A finely-wrought, deeply intelligent study of the nature of revolution” – Michael Billington, the Guardian.

Trevor Griffiths’ most famous play is Comedians and his films include Reds and Fatherland. His work has been produced at the Royal Court, the National Theatre and the West End.


The Slackers by Peter Turrini (Austria)
Saturday 4th February, 6pm

Translated by Richard S Dixon

Directed by Dan Barnard

Laid off from the steel factory despite having won the prize for best worker, Jack refuses to see the bigger picture that his bosses insist on talking about. In his attempt to keep body, soul and family together, he is forced to become an instrument of the system which deprived him of his livelihood.

Peter Turrini is one of the most important living Austrian playwrights. A controversial and uncompromising dramatist and social critic, Turrini has won numerous awards in Austria.


Machine Diary by Suzuki Matsuo (Japan)
Saturday 11th February, 6pm

Directed by Rachel Parish

Brothers Akitoshi and Michio own a factory. Michio has been accused of rape and imprisoned in a prefabricated hut, where he repairs electrical appliances. Akitoshi has taken responsiblity for the victim, and married her. The stakes are raised when a teacher called Keiko arrives and falls for Michio. Meanwhile Akitoshi’s irascible pet crocodile lies waiting in the pond.

Suzuki Matsuo is one of Japan’s most exciting playwrights. He founded Otonokeikaku, which became Japan’s foremost avant-garde theatre company in the 1990s. In 1997 he won the Kisihida Kunio Drama Award.


What Happened After Nora Left Her Husband by Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)
Saturday 18th February, 6pm

Translated by Tinch Minter

Directed by Rachel Briscoe

This radical and provocative sequel to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shows Nora in a challenging world of industry, corruption and ill-fated love affairs, struggling to define her identity.

Described by the Guardian as “Austria’s most distinuguished author”, Elfriede Jelinek won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2004. Her novel, The Piano Teacher, has been made into a film.