A Cold War Double Bill – From Both Sides of the Curtain at Kenton

A new national tour of two short plays exploring the brightest and darkest moments of Cold War history have taken on a new importance given the global political developments of the past few weeks. These two tautly written and gripping dramas, which will be coming to the Kenton Theatre on 29 May are set to leave audiences questioning the nature of power and asking how our political beliefs can really change our lives – and the world. Tales from Star City, by Dan Dawes, is set at the heart of the Soviet Union in 1967. The Space Race is at its height. One woman at the centre of it all looks back on her dreams of being part of the great Communist movement during one of the most dramatic decades of the Cold War.

Some time later, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, the new Prime Minister is working late into the night when she is interrupted by a request – a letter needs to be written. It can only say one of two things, but its far-reaching implications could change the face of the earth forever… The Letter of Last Resort by award-winning Scottish playwright David Greig raises huge moral questions regarding political responsibility and deterrence.

Over the last few weeks, the topics explored by these two plays have sadly become incredibly relevant again. Both Idle Discourse and PlayGC, along with the theatres that they are touring across the UK  are keen to support those impacted by the war in Ukraine as much as they can so are running collections in support of War Child, and will also be inviting audiences to contribute via a fundraiser for the charity.

“We never imagined our tour of two Cold War themed plays would suddenly become so pertinent, but this is the world we are living in,” says writer and director Dan Dawes. “These are two very different pieces of theatre, but both are about how power is used and can be abused. Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to assign these themes to history, we’re still feeling the effects now in a very real and awful way.”