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My Country: A Work in Progress

In the days following the Brexit vote, a team from the National Theatre of Great Britain spoke to people nationwide, aged 9 to 97, to hear their views on the country we call home. In a series of deeply personal interviews, they heard opinions that were honest, emotional, funny, and sometimes extreme. My Country puts their words centre stage. Read more …

Britannia calls a meeting, to listen to her people. Caledonia, Cymru, East Midlands, North East, Northern Ireland and the South West bring the voices of their regions. The debate is passionate, the darts are sharp, stereotypes nailed and opinions divided. Can there ever be a United Kingdom?

These real testimonials are interwoven with speeches from party leaders of the time in this groundbreaking new play by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and director Rufus Norris.

More information on this production is available at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.

The critical consensus

The journey is interesting, however, and it is a pleasure to take it in the company of actors as good as Seema Bowri, Cavari Clarke, Laura Elphinstone, Adam Ewan, Penny Layden, Stuart McQuarrie and Christian Patterson who fill a small space with the whole of the disunited kingdom.

****(*)Sarah Crompton, WhatsOnStage, 10/03/2017

My Country is an amuse bouche of a political documentary, one that summarises the UK’s complex diversity without getting its hands too dirty in the trenches that drive it apart.

Corrie Tan, Exeunt, 11/03/2017

I urge everyone to see My Country and listen to the cacophony of different voices gathered together in this brave show and reflect on how to unite them.

****(*)Aleksandra Sakowska, Plays to See, 11/03/2017

Britannia is divided in this bold piece built from voter interviews but it is a fragmented work that does not tell us anything new.

***(*)(*)Michael Billington, The Guardian, 12/03/2017

My Country therapeutically unkinks your brain and lets you hear at the end a more reverberant and ionised silent. It's a political intervention; not a retreat into aesthetics.

*****Paul Taylor, The Independent, 13/03/2017

Rufus Norris and Carol Ann Duffy’s verbatim drama includes a variety of voices but is already out of date in our bitterly divided nation.

**(*)(*)(*)Susannah Clapp, The Observer, 19/03/2017

The seven-strong cast embody an oddly moving poetic polyphony that isn't a howl of rage. It is a quiet plea to be heard.

****(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 29/03/2017

In its final stages, the production achieves some kind of synthesis – between the disparateness of the regions yet also a sense of the richness and depth of a national identity, expressed plangently by Britannia. Perhaps to remind us that what divides us also unites us.

*****R.G. Balgray, The Reviews Hub, 29/03/2017

Norris and Duffy’s production may be flawed, but at least it provides a platform for those who are still under- represented on the stage.

Lorna Irvine, The Tempo House, 30/03/2017

It’s good that My Country gives a snapshot of the mood of the times, except we knew the mood of the times already.

***(*)(*)Mark Fisher, The Scotsman, 01/04/2017

This production is an accurate photograph of the country in the months that preceded and followed the vote, but fails to be the decisive piece of work it could be.

***(*)(*)Marine Furet, Plays to See, 02/04/2017

This 80-minute show is shallow, redundant and intellectually insulting.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 04/04/2017

It is in the assemblage and layering of these voices where there is the potential for something more nuanced to develop, but the play's tendency towards regional stereotypes undermines this.

***(*)(*)Irina Glinsky, The List, 10/04/2017


Features about My Country: A Work in Progress

How they created the NT's Brexit play My Country

Campbell Laurie, WhatsOnStage, 10/03/2017

Rufus Norris--My Country: A Work in Progress

Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 14/03/2017

My Country--A Work in Progress promises a fascinating snapshot of post-Brexit Britain.

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 21/03/2017

Where and when?

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Thursday May 11, 2017, until Saturday May 13, 2017. More info: www.traverse.co.uk

Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow from Tuesday March 28, 2017, until Saturday April 1, 2017. More info: www.citz.co.uk

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