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LYCEUM THEATRE EDINBURGH UNTIL 23.09.17; WHAT SHADOWS RARE SHOW Ian McDiarmid.

Byline: Ian McDiarmid

Imagine Senator Palpatine from the Star Wars movies was a working MP in 20th century British politics.

He'd probably be someone like Enoch Powell. A nasty, divisive Tory, he delivered the infamous Birmingham Speech - better known as the Rivers Of Blood Speech - in 1968, which criticised Commonwealth immigration and anti-discrimination legislation.

It got Powell the sack.

How appropriate, then, that Ian McDiarmid - better known as The Emperor in the Star Wars saga - should portray Powell in this new play about the former minister's controversial speech.

It's set in 1992, as a black Oxford academic, who is the daughter of a Caribbean immigrant, goes looking for answers, and Powell, given his words seriously affected her childhood. She's writing a book and wants to know why Powell said what he did.

But will meeting Powell give her the peace she seeks? A story about a divided country, What Shadows couldn't be more topical. For while there is a lot of anger over the issue of immigrants, the piece asks us how we can speak about it sensibly and without hate.

A rare opportunity to see McDiarmid on the stage, this potent play could be one of the most tense and divisive theatre productions you'll see all year.

BARRY GORDON

Call 0131 248 4848 for tickets, priced PS10-PS32.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 10, 2017
Words:218
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