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Exeunt Magazine: Review: Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith

March 4th, 2018

jubrev18aNO FUTURE: Brendan Macdonald reviews Chris Goode’s stage version of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee

“It’s funny isn’t it? In 1977, someone shouting NO FUTURE sounded like the most extreme nihilistic punk. Forty years on, it’s a fact. It’s mainstream climate science.”

As Amyl Nitrate (played by Travis Alabanza) perceives, ‘NO FUTURE’ was once a rallying cry of the punk movement, not just a closing refrain to a Sex Pistols anthem. It spoke of a stark fatalism imbued with fury, frustration, and a deep distrust in the current status quo. Chris Goode’s adaptation of Derek Jarman’s 1978 film Jubilee toys with this articulation, hurtling the punk movement into a future that seemingly shouldn’t exist, to see how it survives.

Goode’s adaptation spars with Jarman’s film, keeping faithful to the central tenets of the piece while modernizing it to reflect the current age. It’s messy, chaotic, sex-fueled, and driven more by affect than narrative. Queen Elizabeth I, brilliantly played by one of the film’s original stars Toyah Willcox, travels to the present day with the help of Lucy Ellinson’s Ariel, and passively witnesses the countercultural energy that’s brewing beneath 21st century neoliberal consumerism.

• Continue reading at Exeunt Magazine. Read Exeunt Magazine’s review of Jubilee at Royal Exchange, Manchester, here.

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