Following the enormous success of their production of Sweeney Todd at Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, Tooting Arts Club will revive their production of Barbarians by Barrie Keeffe at the former Central Saint Martins School of Art Building in Soho.
In 1977, Britain had just emerged from a worldwide recession. It was the Queen’s silver jubilee year but Paul, Jan and Louis had little to celebrate. With widespread youth unemployment and little opportunity on the horizon, there was anarchy in the air. Barbarians follows the fluctuating fortunes of its three male characters on a journey that is as humorous as it is brutal, to the soundtrack of The Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Jam. Saint Martins provides the perfect setting, steeped in the punk culture of that time, to revive this acclaimed production which is as relevant now as it was then.
“I’m delighted that Barbarians is going to St Martins. It’s the perfect home for it. When I wrote Barbarians I was trying to capture that energy of punk on the stage, so to have it performed at such an important building from that time is very exciting. It sounds odd to say, but I’ve mixed feelings about seeing Barbarians revived. When I wrote it, I thought it was a play of its time, but in a way it’s sad that it’s still so relevant to the situation of young people today. Obviously I’m very happy to see it produced, but shocked that the problems in it are still around today.”– Barrie Keeffe
The cast of Barbarbians will include Thomas Coombes (The Father) Jake Davies (Yen, X+Y) and Josh Williams (Lord of the Flies, Love and Information).
The production will be directed by Bill Buckhurst (Sweeney Todd) with design by Simon Kenny, sound design by Joshua Richardson and lighting design by Rob Youngson.