The Park Theatre and Jimmy Saville
The Park Theatre is have gone boldly where no other theatre would dare. has gone before in a season marking the fringe theatre's second year with a new play dramatising the headline-grabbing tale of disgraced TV personality Jimmy Saville.
Jez Bond, Artistic Director of the Park Theatre says: 'I believe that theatre is not just entertainment – it’s also about opening discussion and challenging perspectives, holding a mirror up to nature and tackling even the most uncomfortable of issues so we learn from our mistakes.”
Theatre based on true stories
Billed as 'the first play to examine the scandal that continues to shock the nation', playwright Jonathan Maitland's direct exploration of real life controversy is unprecedented on stage. While The Royal Court may have put issues surrounding paedophilia under the spotlight in The Nether, the unsettling implications were veiled within a fantastical, futuristic dystopia. The National Theatre used drama to explore real life scandals, such as the Milly Dowler murder, in Great Britain -- but Richard Bean's script was shaped by satire and made allusive by fake names.
The story of Jimmy Saville on stage with verbatim material from real life transcripts, interviews and TV shows, An Audience with Jimmy Saville, is accurate but it's hard to work to out what it's trying to do.
The play begins back in 1991 with the celebration of a National Treasure recently knighted by the queen for his contributions to children's entertainment. But, as we already know, in the background a much darker, more dangerous man is abusing this adoration and trust.
Jonathan Maitland: play about Jimmy Saville
As a journalist with 30 years' experience, Jonathan Maitland has brought an analytical eye to his theatrical adaptation of the Jimmy Saville story. “There is a real public interest question,” he explains. “What everyone wants to know – how on earth did this happen?”. While the play may give us an eerily literal rendition (thanks to McGowan's masterful mimicry) it fails to illuminate anything beyond the grisly truth with which we are now all so familiar.
Alastair McGowan Theatre
Alastair McGowan is exceptional as Savile, his every mannerism, tic and gesture uncannily summoned by the master impressionist. Though best know for hit BBC comedy impersonation show
The Big Impression, Alastair McGowan is also an experienced theatre actor, having played Henry Higgins in Pygmalion and scooping an Olivier nomination for his role inThe Little Shop of Horrors.
|What||An Audience with Jimmy Saville|
Clifton Terrace, London, N4 3JP | MAP
|Nearest tube||Finsbury Park (underground)|
10 Jun 15 – 11 Jul 15, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Price||£15 - £25|
|Website||Click here to book via Park Theatre|