When the ‘Game’ goes into overtime
Be it known that the new show at The Public is a play about Afghanistan. But before you stop reading, actress Jemma Redgrave wants the opportunity to sell “The Great Game: Afghanistan” to you.
Be it known that the new show at The Public is a play about Afghanistan. But before you stop reading (what is it about Americans and our ambivalence about this nation and the war we’re raging there?), actress Jemma Redgrave wants the opportunity to sell “The Great Game: Afghanistan” to you.
“It’s theater, not lecture,” says the English actress (Redgrave is the niece of Vanessa Redgrave and cousin of the late Natasha Richardson) about “The Great Game.” “In fact, it’s a theatrical event!”
Is it ever — “The Great Game” is actually 12 plays presented together which explore, in three separate parts, the culture and history of Afghanistan since Western involvement in 1842 to the present day.
“When you talk about Afghan history and the politics, it sounds dry and rather didactic. But these are excellent plays,” says Redgrave, who performs in all three parts. “You can’t understand what is happening now unless you understand the cycle of history that goes back that far.”
So through 14 actors, the story of the country is told. “We all play a range of parts all the way through, so there is lots of frantically pulling hats and wigs off and running back on stage to be someone else. “
Presented by the famed Britain’s Tricycle Theatre Company, “The Great Game” has been on tour throughout the U.S. before making a stop here in New York, all to great acclaim, says Redgrave. “I feel like there’s a real appetite to know why we’re there, as nobody ever talks about that. This does what theater is supposed to do — engage the audience.”