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The Guardian: Jubilee To Be Reignited On Stage

June 7th, 2017

guardian17aDerek Jarman’s punk classic Jubilee to be reignited on stage  

Toyah Willcox plays the time-travelling Elizabeth I in the Royal Exchange’s version of the film that caused outrage after 1977’s silver jubilee

Derek Jarman’s anarchic punk film Jubilee is to be adapted for the stage with a cast including Toyah Willcox who made her screen debut in the original version 40 years ago. Willcox played the cackling pyromaniac Mad, a member of a girl gang whose fights, orgies and random acts of cruelty are witnessed by Queen Elizabeth I when she is magically transported to the 1970s. The new stage version, which will open at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre this November, casts Willcox in the role of the time-travelling queen.

“At the time it was made, it was utterly outrageous,” says Willcox of the film, which she describes as the tale of “women who are trying to kind of kill everything that controls them or that has exploited them. It’s a very resonant story today. Nothing’s changed except the technology.” The stage version will be firmly set in the modern day, with the script updated throughout the show’s run to acknowledge current events.

“If there’s something noteworthy in the news at 1pm, hopefully you’ll be hearing a reference to it in the show in the evening,” says Chris Goode, the show’s director. Goode, who first saw Jarman’s film as a teenager and has been influenced by the DIY punk ethos throughout his theatre career, added: “We didn’t want our version to be an exercise in nostalgia. Part of the impulse was thinking about where punk is at now.”

• Continue reading at The Guardian.

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