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Review: The Assassination of Katie Hopkins – Theatr Clwyd

A shocking crime divides the country, but when fingers are pointed and facts are hard to come by,  how will the nation cope with the loss of controversial public figure, Katie Hopkins? #JusticeForKatie

Proving that it’s easy to have an opinion online, the ‘keyboard warriors’ are out in full force, hiding behind the anonymity of their phones, tablets and computers. The World starts to ask just how free speech should be. 

By Emma Tattum, Egwyl Editor | @EmmaT1995

The groundbreaking musical by Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth premiering at Theatr Clwyd, is a question-raising piece that takes the audience on a journey through hate speech, free speech and the connection they share.

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins is a musical based around the fictional death of Katie Hopkins, who needs no introduction! Another story running parallel to this is the virtually ignored deaths of 12 migrant workers who were killed in a fire in their accommodation. From here, a double narrative begins to unfold bringing with it a virtual fight for justice on social media.

“A dozen people have died and we’re wasting our breath on Katie Hopkins.”

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(L-R) Matthew Woodyatt, Rakesh Boury, Ché Francis Photography: Sam Taylor

Two lead characters emerge from these stories, a young solicitor determined to get justice played by Maimuna Memon and Kayleigh, the leader of the controversial #JusticeForKatie campaign, portrayed by Bethzienna Williams, who finds herself in the limelight as the campaign gathers momentum. However, just as things look like they’re going well, the social media comments spiral out of control, both women are brought crashing down.

The stories never meet, but both respectively reflect on free speech, the world’s obsession with celebrity culture, fake news and our use of social media.

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(L-R) Genesis Lynea, Rakesh Boury, Amy Booth-Steel, Ché Francis, Derek Hutchinson, Matthew Woodyatt, Bethzienna Williams Photography: Sam Taylor

The entire production is delivered through a series of texts, Facebook posts, Tweets and YouTube videos that appear on the incredibly ingenious and imaginative panels of lights and staging by Lucy Osbourne which resembled a wall of phones.

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Maimuna Memon           Photography: Sam Taylor

 

There is so much going on during this production, sometimes you can forget which part of the story you’re on, but within seconds you’re back on track and on reflection, the chaoticness only echoes the technological world we all live in.

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins truly is every bit as thought-provoking and powerful as the title suggests. Holding a mirror to the modern society that, at times, left me feeling unnerved and feeling and intense.

On the way out of the theatre, I overheard a conversation between a father and daughter who said she is going to think about how she uses social media from now on and be careful with what she shares. Good job, Theatr Clwyd!

In the words of the ‘Katie Dossier’ itself, this production is

  1. Powerful
  2. Honest
  3. Hardworking
  4. Clever
  5. Funny

Chris Bush, Matt Winkworth and the entire cast, crew and creative team has done an incredible job with this production and it’s one of the strongest pieces of theatre I’ve seen.

You don’t have long left to see the show as it finishes at Theatr Clwyd this Saturday so, only two days left! Get your tickets now!  

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