Metatheatre is not a new concept. The ancient Grecians had it. Samuel Beckett had it. Even ye ole Billy Shakespeare had it. But what is Metatheatre? In short, the term Metatheatre describes the aspects of a play that shines the limelight onto it’s actual nature as a play, as drama. For instance, Puck’s speech to the audience at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here while these visions did appear”. Basically, “don’t worry, none of this was actually real. Now please enjoy the bar in the foyer where lashings of ale are available”. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the mechanicals, and their play within a play. In fact, it is this concept exactly that gives Intra Muros it’s dramatic vigour and sends a traditional, Metatheatrical technique hurtling into the 21st century.
Penned by the Molière award-winning writer Alexis Michalik, Intra Muros follows ageing thespian Richard (Ché Walker) as he’s preparing to direct his first theatre class within a maximum security prison. Aided by his ex-wife and former actress Jane (Emma Pallant) and inexperienced social worker Emma (Summer Strallen), Richard soon realises that only two inmates have shown up (played by Victor Gardener and Declan Perring). Nonetheless, he decides to go on with the class and so ensues a captivating and darkly comic exploration of life within the walls. Accompanied by live music and on-stage sound mixing from award winning jazz bassist Rio Kai, this production is a must-see for those with a genuine interest in theatrical form or looking for something a little different.
Intra Muros debuted at La Pépinière Théâtre in Paris, where it continues its successful run. Its debut across the channel will be housed at Finsbury Park’s, Park Theatre on 3rd April 2019.
Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
3 April – 4 May 2019
Tickets are available from parktheatre.co.uk. Priced between £18.50 and £32.50