Heads Up: Decade

Ten years on, Goold and company go Headlong into 9/11
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The Independent Culture

What are we talking about?

A new, immersive theatrical production from Headlong that, ten years on, explores our responses to 9/11.

Elevator Pitch

Dramatising a decade through the voices of many.

Prime Movers

It's the brainchild of Rupert Goold, the artistic director of dynamic theatre company Headlong (of Enron fame). He's drawn a large and impressive selection of writers: two US Pulitzer prize-winning playwrights, Christopher Shinn and Lynn Nottage, alongside fellow American John Logan, whose Red won a Tony Award. The Brits involved are no less illustrious, and include historian Simon Schama, playwright and screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Hour, Sex Traffic), Mike Bartlett, who penned Earthquakes in London for Headlong, and Alecky Blythe (London Road), plus Samuel Adamson, the man responsible for adapting Breakfast at Tiffany's and All About My Mother for the stage.

The Talent

The cast includes Tobias Menzies (HBO's Rome and The Children's Hour), playwright and soap opera regular Arinze Kene, and Amy Lennox, fresh from the presumably thankless task of understudying Sheridan Smith in Legally Blonde.

The Early Buzz

Louise Jury may have got a little carried away when writing in the Evening Standard that "Award-winning director Rupert Goold is to court controversy with a theatrical spectacular exploring the legacy of 9/11 on its 10th anniversary. He is working with international writers Tony Kushner, John Logan and Paul Laverty, Ken Loach's long-term collaborator, to produce the show." While more names are to be announced, it seems rumours that Kushner will be involved are false.

Insider Knowledge

The site-specific piece will take place in a warehouse next door, aptly, to the former London World Trade Centre.

It's great that...

Such a huge and potentially contentious topic will get the ambitious treatment – and the range of different voices and responses – it surely merits.

It's a shame that...

It's a topic that may be deemed off limits by some; Goold is already defending his choice, saying "there's a big thing about taste in this piece. One has to be sensitive ... But I hope people won't be offended."

Hit Potential

With that subject matter and Goold's style, it's guaranteed to be a hot ticket.

The Details

Decade is at Commodity Quay, St Katharine Docks, London E1W (decadeheadlong.com) 1 Sep to 15 Oct.