Communications, Drama and Film – Practice Blog

Communications, Drama and Film – Practice Blog

Celebrating the breadth and variety of practical work in the department

Comrades at the Northcott

Posted by jgprimro

23 March 2023

On 23rd March 2023, students took to the stage of the Exeter Northcott Theatre to perform Comrades, as the culmination of their 2nd year production module.
The radical play with songs was written by Tony Lidington, in collaboration with Peter Jewell and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, and is the first stage adaptation of the pre-cinematic cult film of the same name by Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell, released in 1986. Directed by the author, the cast consisted of an ensemble of students.

The story of The Tolpuddle Martyrs is a powerful one that resonates throughout history and Bill Douglas has posthumously emerged as a cult figure of British filmmaking. Pre-cinema is very much on the cutting-edge of contemporary academic thinking about storytelling and media archaeology – University of Exeter Drama & Film departments & The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum are at the core of that interest. This is a play with songs that is topical and relevant both in its form and content: the issue of trades union representation is very much part of current thinking, as zero hours contracts and part-time working have become the norm. Workers’ rights and political representation are looked-at through the lens of this historical story to take a more objective and considered view of ‘hot’ political topics.

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