Jerusalem and Albion: An Ecological Perspective on Contemporary British Theatre College
“As the ninth, tenth, and eleventh strokes struck, a huge blackness sprawled over the whole of London. With the twelfth stroke of midnight, the darkness was complete. A turbulent welter of cloud covered the city. All was darkness; all was doubt; all was confusion. The Eighteenth century was over; the Nineteenth century had begun” (Virgina Woolf, Orlando)
In Orlando Virginia Woolf describes the shift between centuries as the shifting of “turbulent” clouds; meteorological movement is linked with the movement of society from one state into another. If the twelfth stroke of midnight represents the moment of this epochal transition, then Mike Bartlett’s Albion and Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem and The Ferryman tell stories of the eleventh hour, set on the brink of the final stroke. Each play concerns itself with the perceived threat towards a particular way of life; in Jerusalem the modern “Green Man” protagonist faces eviction from his mobile home; the IRA intrudes upon the domestic life of a Northern Irish family during the Troubles in The Ferryman; Albion depicts a woman’s futile attempts to salvage a decaying aristocratic garden in the wake of her son’s death. The attempt to find purpose in the face loss – more broadly an apparent...
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