Writer and theatre maker Javaad Alipoor presents his 2017 Scotsman Fringe First Award-winning play The Believers Are But Brothers at London’s Bush Theatre later this month.
We live in a time where old orders are collapsing: from the postcolonial nation states of the Middle East, to the EU and the American election. Through it all, tech savvy and extremist groups rip up political certainties.
Amid this, a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment, without the money, power and sex they think they deserve.
This crisis of masculinity leads them into an online world where fantasy, violence and reality collide.
The Believers Are But Brothers envelops its audience in this digital realm, exploring the blurry and complex world of extremists, journalists and fantasists in an electronic maze of meme culture, 4chan, the alt-right and ISIS.
This bold one-man show weaves together their stories to reveal a vast web of resentment, violence and power just one click away.
Writer and performer, Javaad Alipoor, said: “I’m really proud and excited to be bringing this show to the Bush, where it will sit within a season that reflects on the issues and voices shaping contemporary Britain.
“It means a great deal to me to present my work at a theatre that is one of the historic engines of new writing in the UK, where a commitment to diversity goes beyond representation or deficit, and is so central to the amazing work that is being presented and made there”.
As part of the performance, audiences will be invited to join a WhatsApp group for the show. This is optional but will enhance the experience.
Both a resident associate director at Sheffield Theatres, and artistic director of Northern Lines, Javaad Alipoor’s work comes from discussions and workshops with communities that don’t usually engage with mainstream theatre.
His previous work includes Orgreave: An English Civil War, about the Miners’ Strike and the Arab Spring and My Brother’s Country – about murdered Iranian pop icon Fereydoun Farrokhzad.
Co-director Kirsty Housley said: “In times of increasing political polarisation, where the way we communicate and the way we receive information is changing faster than we can keep pace with, we have tried to look at how these things are connected.
“How the way we communicate and the tools we use to interact with the world are in turn shaping the world we inhabit.
“Is there something about the internet that favours the extreme? What do we even mean by extremism?
“Believers creates different groups in different forms, and begins to nudge at what can only be said online, and what can only be said face to face”.
The Believers Are But Brothers runs at the Bush Theatre from January 24 – February 10.
****BAFTA-winning actress Monica Dolan brings her first play, The B*easts, to the Bush Theatre from February 12 following a hit run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
It is a searing ‘What If?’ exploration of the pornification of our culture and the sexualisation of our children.
This dark tale, written by and starring Dolan, explores how far one mum will go to give her child what she wants.