A Piece of the Continent, a festival celebrating the unifying influence of European theatre, includes dramas about patriarchy, dogmatism and dementia
As Britain seeks to finalise its divorce from the EU, an inaugural festival celebrates the best of European theatre and its influence on the UK. A Piece of the Continent was created by the Actors Centre as a response to Brexit and the idea of putting a picket fence around Britain’s creative life. It shows that culture is at its greatest when it cross-pollinates. The first three shows in the festival encompass big, universal themes – #MeToo, dementia, religious dogma – and what unifies these hour-long productions is their inventive form.
A Voice (★★★★☆) is the story of a 1960s French singer, Angèle, controlled by François, a predatory impresario, and framed as a cabaret-style musical. Its writer, Anne Bertreau, plays Angèle with a wide-eyed credulousness that is filled with pathos. In her mid-20s but already jaded, she looks back at their relationship with growing horror: “My life became his life, my body became his body.”