Theatre Review: Surviving a Terrorist Attack

Written by: Victoria Highfield

BU21 is a bare, brutal and beautifully honest London terror drama.

What would you do if you witnessed a terrorist attack and lived to tell the tale? Stuart Slade brings its audience into direct contact with a survivors group of 6 Londoners each affected by the plane crash of fated flight BU21 in Fulham.

This daring new play is a darkly comic insight into how we cope when tragedy strikes in the most unlikely of places.

North Four, North London magazine, BU21, Theatre review, terrorist attacks London

“Every night on the news there’s literally always some sort of massively catastrophic end-of-the-world shit going down: genocide, earthquake, terrorism, school shooting – it’s endless, you know? And I always wonder ‘how would I cope, if that happened to me?”

I looked around the room at furrowed brows. Amidst a political climate of Trump, Brexit and the war on terror this couldn’t have been more topical albeit rather grim. Paris, Brussels, Berlin… Slade shows London as the next target. The audience shift slightly in their chairs. We were about to witness our very own 911 (yes, it really is that hard hitting) sprawled out and bloody on the Kings Road. 

Sitting in a circle, heads down underneath a harsh strip lighting we meet our characters. All undergoing PSTD therapy, taking turns to come up and speak, almost guiltily, like some awkward AA meeting. Think of a really maimed version of Friends.

North Four, North London magazine, BU21, Theatre review, terrorist attacks London

At first they are lone voices yet as the 90 minutes unravel these become interlocking monologues; they share (surprising) bonds which ‘blossom’ into relationships, some of which more compromising than others.

Our current obsession with social media is presented in the opening scene through PR exec Izzy, who rather shockingly discovers that her mum is dead via Twitter. Her reaction at knowing the news is revulsion – out of all of the people on the Kings Road that day it was her mum that was torn apart by the burning fuselage. We’re introduced to pretty uni student Floss who witnessed a falling man plummet from the plane and land in her back garden, all whilst locking eyes for a brief moment, her cheese sandwich still in hand. There’s Ana, a Romanian waitress wheelchair bound and suicidal after suffering from severe burns. Followed by Clive, a young Muslim, scared forever by the crash yet falsely portrayed as a terrorist conspirator. There’s Graham, the eye witness who also happens to be a bigoted racist.

North Four, North London magazine, BU21, Theatre review, terrorist attacks London

And finally there’s Alex, a coked up city banker who sees the survivors group as ‘a perfect place to pull’. We know he’s in mourning but to be honest he’s a bit of a dick.

However it’s Alex that steals the show by breaking the forth wall in this verbatim play. His voice drips with scathing and bitter sarcasm as he baits his audience, asking why we’ve come to watch a play with such strong subject matter. He says the things we all secretly think but are not allowed to say. Are we all furtively into tragedy porn? As Graham says, why do we all slow down to watch the wreckage of a car crash on the motorway? Terrible as it may seem is it human nature?  It seems we have a fascination in stories surrounding disaster. Alex brazenly accuses his audience of racism for thinking that the only Muslim character is a terrorist. However this was actually a deliberate move by Slade’s narrative which was brave in its discussion of Islam extremism and the sensitive subject of race.

North Four, North London magazine, BU21, Theatre review, terrorist attacks London

Aside from a tea trolley and a set of plastic chairs, Director Dan Pick creates an intimate setting of a vertically bare stage. This only heightened the intensity of this provocative drama and exposed the actors’ emotional cabling for all to see. I loved the pure realness of the performance and its ability to laugh in the face of death.

Despite its depressing subject nature, the audience left uplifted. We’re Londoners who pull together in the face of adversity as we always do. Rich vs poor, North vs South we’re in it together and for the long haul.  We love the characters – as shitty and twisted as they are – because there’s a little part of us in each of them.

North Four, North London magazine, kerb, street food collective, donuts, ice cream, milkshake
Eat & Drink

Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasures, All Weekend

“He said, I know It’s only arctic roll but I like it like it yes I dooooo” Those are the lyrics right? Well this weekend they certainly are, at Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasure in Kings Cross featuring an arctic roll of pure indulgence. Over Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July, the street food collective from your wildest dreams are hosting the most indulgent hits from all their pop ups at Granary Square.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, hivemind, theatre collective, hen and chickens theatre bar, improv show
Culture

Theatre of Choice: Stick and Twisted by Hivemind

Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the lacy nook, stoke newington, balkan fusion, cuisine, bar, restaurant, menu, review, beer garden
Eat & Drink

Hidden Culinary Gem: The Lacy Nook

We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, NYT, Theatre, new play, playing up, acting course
Culture

Playing Up: New NYT Show, Three

This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, amusical, backyard comedy club, comedians, acts, tickets, bethnal green, josie long
Events

Laughable Acts at Backyard Comedy Club

Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, staffie, rehoming, dogs, adoption, foster, staffordshire bull terrier, all dogs matter charity
Lifestyle

Fur Dates: Lottie is Looking for Love

Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, jumble trail, vintage clothing, caledonian road, car boot, stalls, bric-a-brac, treasure trove
Events

Get Involved: Cally Road Jumble Trail

Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at jumbletrail.com where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, wimbledon, tennis, screenings, lifestyle, list, article, what to do, white socks
Lifestyle List

Top Four ‘What the Deuce!’ Wimbledon Screening Spots

You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, yield n16, cheese, wine, newington green, wine, wine tasting
Eat & Drink Events

Midsummer Fizz Masterclass at Yield N16

Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, abney park, dogs, dog walking, dog training, north london
Eat & Drink

World Foods Market, Abney Hall

Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, avocado, brunch, eggs, breakfast, gentrification, city
Lifestyle

Quiz: How Gentrified Are You?

Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the literary hour, supper club, wind in the willows, kenneth grahame, themed event, dining, food, drink
Eat & Drink Events

Poop poop! Supper Club Banquet at Toad Hall

Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, open mic night, the mosutache bar, stoke newington, events, comedians, acts, music, singers, actors
Culture

Comedians, Rappers, Actors: Open Mic Night in Stokey

Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, walking tour, history, guided tour, event, to do, streets, shops
Events Lifestyle

Walking Tour of Stokey's Rebel History

Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, joginders supper club, punjabi cuisine, eating, dining
Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Punjabi Supperclub Recipe

Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, tour de france, tour de north london, cycle tour, food tour, french cuisine, review
Culture Eat & Drink Lifestyle

North London Bike Tour: Tour De North Four

So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.

Read More...