TRICYCLE THEATRE’S EPIC PRODUCTION
THE GREAT GAME: AFGHANISTAN
BEGINS THREE-WEEK RUN AT THE GUTHRIE THEATER
Minnesota Public Radio’s Euan Kerr interviews director Nick Kent
“A laudably ambitious effort to use theater as a lens for achieving clarity and insight about one of the world’s most important current conflicts”
— Tad Simons, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine
“The Great Game: Afghanistan is a stunning theatrical achievement”
— Ed Huyck, MinnPost
“Tricycle Theatre’s The Great Game: Afghanistan is an absorbing epic”
— Jay Gabler, TCDailyPlane
(Minneapolis/St. Paul) Tricycle Theatre’s epic production The Great Game: Afghanistan kicked off a limited three-week engagement last week at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The ambitious theatrical experience, nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement, explores Afghan culture and history in an enthralling three-part event. The Great Game: Afghanistan was recently remounted at the Tricycle in London and comes to the Guthrie Theater as part of a four-city U.S. tour that also includes the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., Berkeley Repertory Theatre and The Public Theater in New York.
by Euan Kerr
Minnesota Public Radio (September 28, 2010)
Minneapolis, Minn. — The politics of Afghanistan have confounded the West for centuries. A new production opening tomorrow at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is designed to provide some explanation.
“The Great Game: Afghanistan” is an epic show, lasting seven and a half hours.
Why so long? Well, Nick Kent says, we live in what he calls a 50-minute culture, where we skim newspaper articles or watch just parts of TV shows, and don’t delve into a subject.
“And I really wanted to get a very long day,” he says. “So you actually sat down spent six hours really thinking about Afghanistan, really examining it.”
Kent is artistic director of Tricycle Theater, the London-based company which conceived “The Great Game: Afghanistan” and will perform the show at the Guthrie.
“It’s an extremely easy country, it seems, to conquer,” Kent says. “The problem is holding it.”
The Great Game: Afghanistan premiered in April 2009 at London’s Tricycle Theatre, where it was created and ran for three months to overwhelming acclaim. The Daily Telegraph raved “High on my list of the best theatrical experiences of 2009. The quality of the writing and the painstaking nature of the research are palpable throughout” and the Guardian called it a “mind blowing achievement,” and said “Something remarkable is happening at the Tricycle, where Afghan history and culture are being made manifest in a uniquely challenging, theatrically exciting way.”
Each of the three parts of The Great Game: Afghanistan is made up of four one-act plays, each by a different playwright, each exploring a critical period of modern Afghan history. Part 1, Invasions and Independence, covers the years from 1842 to 1930; Part 2, Communism, the Mujahideen and the Taliban, covers 1979 to 1996; and Part 3, Enduring Freedom, covers the years from 1996 to the present. The Guthrie will present each part as a separate evening of theater and will present all three parts consecutively on weekends.
The Great Game: Afghanistan continues at the Guthrie Theater through October 17, with single tickets are $30 to $50 for individual performances of each part and $60 to $120 for the entire three-part series. Tickets are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.
The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies.