Royal Court Theatre to stage play about hacking collective Anonymous
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Friday 27 June 2014
Two former members of Anonymous are advising on a new play about the “hacktivist” group that targeted corporations' websites and the FBI, which is to be staged at the Royal Court in London later this year.
Tim Price, who wrote The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning and a play about the Occupy movement, is currently working on Teh Internet is Serious Business with Jake Davis and Mustafa Al-Bassam acting as advisers.
The play follows the story of 18-year-old Jake from Shetland and 16-year-old Mustafa from London, who meet online and “pick a fight with the FBI and change the world forever”.
The pair are currently living in London and Mr Price has interviewed them both for the play. They will read the script and be involved in the rehearsal rooms.
Hamish Pirie, director of the play, said: “Tim sees it as a massive responsibility telling someone’s stories, especially a story with challenging morals.”
He continued: “They are really inspiring people and very humble. They’re aware of their responsibilities after what they’ve done. But they’re young boys as well, you can’t forget that.”
Jake Davis, who was known online as Topiary, became one of the most wanted cybercriminals on the planet for his activities with Anonymous in 2011. Mustafa Al-Bassam, who called himself T-Flow, specialised in finding vulnerabilities in websites.
They were arrested in 2011 after Anonymous, and its offshoot Lulzsec, targeted a string of websites including some belonging to News International, Sony and the FBI.
Mr Pirie said: “The play uses the cornerstones of what happened but we will adapt it to tell a story that is coherent and clear.”
The story will be told from the pair’s point of view.
Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court, said: “They began a new way of thinking. It was a huge act of resistance ending in prison sentences and the law having to be changed. I can never get a hold on the morality of it.”
The play was announced as part of the theatre’s new season, which also included The Wolf From The Door, starring Anna Chancellor and an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Twits.
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