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British Theatre Guide: Jubilee Review

November 8th, 2017

btg17aOn 4 June 1976 at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall, the Sex Pistols played a gig voted (along with Woodstock and Live Aid) as one of the most influential of all time; thousands claim to have been in the 150-capacity venue, which was less than a third full, but some of those who were went on to form massively influential bands such as Buzzcocks, The Smiths, The Fall and Joy Division / New Order, not to mention Factory Records and The Haçienda.

A year later, the Queen had her Silver Jubilee in the year Never Mind The Bollocks was released (“God save the Queen / The fascist regime”), then in 1978 punk had its own Jubilee in the form of Derek Jarman’s film of that name, starring some major punk and alternative music figures including Toyah, Adam Ant, Siouxsie Sioux, Richard O’Brien, Little Nell, Jordan and Lindsay Kemp.

Toyah Willcox returns to the world of Jubilee but this time as Queen Elizabeth I, whose magician John Dee (Harold Finley) conjures up the spirit Ariel (Lucy Ellinson) – it gets quite Shakespearean in a few places – to transport her forwards in time, not to the broken, depressed streets of the 1970s but straight to the squat of Amyl Nitrate and her fellow residents, now translated into the 21st century.

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