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The Pirates Of Carthage

This probably isn't the type of play you were expecting

Written by . Published on January 17th 2012.

The Pirates Of Carthage

REFRESHING. That's what you might call it. 

Finsbury Park-based artist, Daniel Kelly, is injecting a little excitement into the theatre. And it's about time too. One year on from the Arab Spring, The Pirates of Carhage is Kelly's distinctive, multi-platform interpretation of last year’s revolution in Tunisia “as told through Twitter".

"The production is less a conventional play and more a fusion of spoken word, live streaming video, interactive radio and Tunisian hip hop."

It's hard to believe that any of these features can be tied in together, but the production is less a conventional play and more a fusion of spoken word, live streaming video, interactive radio and Tunisian hip hop. Yes, really.

The idea behind the narrative came about from pure coincidence; at the exact same time as the Tunisian uprising last year, Kelly was reading Gustave Flaubert's Salammbo, an historical novel which tells the story of the mercenary revolt of 264 – 241BC against the ancient city of Carthage. The artist could not help but draw a parallel between between these "two stories of rebellion across the centuries in the same geographical location."

Kelly ingeniously interplays political history, told through excerpts from Flaubert’s novel, with present day social controversy, illustrated through the Twitter feeds that drove so much of the rebellion. 

In a setting that could not be any more fitting if it were in Carthage itself, the play makes its debut at the Nellie Dean in Soho – a pub said to have been frequented by the greatest revolutionary theorist of them all, Karl Marx.

“It’s a site specific production in that sense," remarks Kelly, whose choice of venue was also to keep it “non-elitist."

The Pirates of Carthage provides its audience with a multi-faceted experience, presenting an examination of protest from all perspectives. The spirit of Marx is surely waiting with bated breath...

The show will be performed upstairs at the Nellie Dean on January 16, 17, 23 and 24

Tickets cost £5

Nellie Dean
89 Dean Street 
W1D 3SU 


Photo courtesy of the Islington Tribune

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