Emotion-churning, brilliantly conceived & acted political theatre on refugees by Leyton 6th Form College today at Barnabas Arts house Newport. Young London actors were trained by Newport's Katy Arnell the daughter of Janet Martin the owner of Barnabas.
The 40 minute performance hit the audience with the force of a full in the face gale of argument, pathos, tragedy and irrefutable logic. It's a polemic and does not not pretend to tell the full story. But it does expose the superficial and selfish arguments that are dwarfed by be a world crisis of immense suffering.
The actors move with grace, elegance and power from the delicate opening depiction of animal migration to the terror of journeys where the weak face impossible barriers. The work was selected for the national Student Drama Festival this year. It deserves a wider audience. Well done Katy and crew!
The musical COMMITTEE at the Donmar has reopened the controversy on Kids Company. Reviewers are divided on who comes over as the villains. Fans of the David Cameron's Big Society may still sympathise with Alan Yentob and the incredible Ms Batmanghelidjh.
The Mail's Quentin Letts was present at the original committee meeting in 2015 which is depicted with verbatim extracts. He believes the musical has been excessively influenced by Ms B's hypnotic powers of persuasion and distraction that harvested £42 million from Government and £10s of millions from other gullible benefactors. Other reviewers are more sympathetic to the MP questioners who were expressing genuine anger at the gross waste of public funding that served a political gimmick and denied cash to other good-value efficient London child charities. The task of parliament is unfinished. The promised report of the Charity Commission is long overdue. I have written to them about the delay.
There was no penalty against the two ministers who defied their Civil Servants advice and gave £3million to Kids Company a few days before the charity collapsed. The true story is one of clever manipulation. The reason the erring ministers were not reported to the Adviser on Ministerial Conduct is that the only person who can refer them is the Prime Minister who had some involvement in the flopped Big Society project. Not mentioned previously is an attempt was made to manipulate the committee. Information was conveyed to us on the alleged delicate mental health of one of the witnesses. We were asked to tread softly. All witnesses were in robust form capable of fielding the Committee;s questions. The warning was a further example of the techniques of persuasion vividly exposed by the select Committee session.
I have yet to see the show. Chair Bernard Jenkins found the portrayal of himself unsettling and the portrayal of me as more mellow than the real thing. How disappointing.
Sadly the Committee's work was weakened by a reluctance to pursue the falsehoods delivered by witnesses and the need to protect the Poster Girl of the Big Society's failed extravagance.