Ideals survive defeats
After fighting for twelve years, the heroic Simón is enchanted by the revolutionary Manuela to further his quest for liberty; a bridge too far, the anarchy, and a liberation controlled by dictatorship, drive the hero to madness and the revolutionary, now lover, to succession.
Based on the true story of South America’s independence, the play asks two questions about the democratic system. May the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar impose democracy by force upon Perú and, in Gran Colombia restrict citizens’ political rights? May the British Tony Blair impose regime change by force upon Irak and, in the United Kingdom restrict citizens’ freedoms to protect them from real or alleged terrorist threats?
Simón Bolívar’s true character, vision and achievements are finally presented to the Anglosphere. A legend takes a face and the chronicle explores the creation of myths and the repetition of history. The love story progresses through the marshland of myth, history and current politics; where the audience recognises personas such as Don Quixote, John Stuart Mill and Tony Blair. The play comes to life through a range of dramatic situations.
Step by step
Research – Early 2008, we completed the treatment of the new play, having created characters, defined themes, plot and subplot, and sketched a story line.
Devising – In December 2008, we devised the play with the actors Alan Anthony, Robert Ashford, Russell Barnett, Avril Brady, Daniel Marosif, Brendan Riding and Sophie Rowland at East 15 Acting School.
Structure – In June 2009, we developed all scenes with the help of our bespoke verbal-graphical structuring language at OpenArts.
Deconstruction/reconstruction – In October 2009, we deconstructed the true story and reconstructed the play at the Jerwood Space by de-personification, delocalisation and de-timing, by reducing the debate about liberty to two questions, and by removing unnecessary scenes and characters.
Dialogue – In July 2010, we completed the dialogue at OpenArts.