My Country: A Work in Progress

My Country: A Work in Progress
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Review

This is the kind of arty theatrical fare that can be heavy going on TV, but it’s worth sticking with. Created by Carol Ann Duffy and Rufus Norris, it’s adapted from a National Theatre production, and brings together a montage of soundbite opinions about nationhood, immigration and Brexit.

The words are from interviews recorded around the UK, spoken by actors who represent different regions at a village hall gathering convened by a slightly world-weary figure of Britannia for “the sacrament of listening”.

What emerges is far from a metropolitan-elite view (London and the South East aren’t represented, and neither is Yorkshire, oddly), but a provocative, impressionistic exchange that gets under your skin.

Summary

A TV adaptation of the National Theatre production of the same name, written by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and director Rufus Norris. Compiled in the days following the Brexit vote, using testimonies from people aged nine to 97, the play interweaves real interviews with speeches from party leaders, as Britannia - a personification of the nation itself - calls a meeting to listen to the opinions of her people. Amid passionate debate, barbed rebuttals and divided perspectives, she seeks an answer to the question of whether there can ever be a true United Kingdom.

Cast & Crew

Britannia Penny Layden
Northern Ireland Cavan Clarke
East Midlands Seema Bowri
Cymru Christian Patterson
South West Adam Ewan
Caledonia Stuart McQuarrie
North East Laura Elphinstone
Director Rufus Norris
Executive Producer Emma Cahusac
Producer Caroline Lawrence
Writer Rufus Norris
Writer Carol Ann Duffy
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Drama Arts