One Hand Clapping – International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 14th – 16th March, 7:30pm.
Words by Kevin Danson
ADAPTED BY MMU GRADUATE LUCIA COX, FROM THE NOVEL BY ANTHONY Burgess, One Hand Clapping will be on stage at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 14th – 16th March.
Based in the sixties in a working-class town named Bradcaster (Bradford and Manchester), a couple; Janet and Howard, realise Burgess’ thoughts on a transformed Britain influenced by the hype of American celebrities and mass consumption, creating this comic novel of instant riches and little satisfaction. Janet is a frivolous wife content with her supermarket job that allows her to serve her husband, Howard, meals three times a day. Howard works at a used car dealership. Their lives enter a makeover when Howard uses his special talent at winning game shows, taking them both on a life-changing journey to Heaven and Hell.
Speaking to Lucia about why she had chosen this piece from all of Burgess’ works, she says, ‘The novel was handed to me by Andrew Biswell, [Director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and author of Burgess’ biography, The Real Life of Anthony Burgess], who told me to have a read of it and to let him know what I thought’. After reading it in one sitting while in New York, Lucia knew exactly who she wanted to work with and how it would look on stage. She says, ‘It just translates so well as a piece of theatre. The actors I’ve got I’m very excited about’. You can watch her writing process on YouTube under One Hand Clapping V-Log 1.
This dark comedy, although set in the sixties, has major connections not just with Britain, but the world today. A play that engages both glee and gloom, wrapped in Burgess’ cynical view, the audience can expect intimate moments blurred with media disturbances.
Lucia has an MA in creative Writing from MMU where she currently lectures. Her company, House of Orphans, has a series of productions to look out for this year, as well as her award-winning play, Blackbird, appearing on stage in New York. Click here to view her website, and follow her on Twitter @lucia_cox
Tickets cost £6 and are available directly from the IABF shop at the website: www.anthonyburgess.org. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets on site: 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY.