The Jungle draws from the traditions of political theatre from the first half of the 20th century and was a solo-show by Noam Toran in collaboration with us and Nick Williamson on show in May 2017 at Plymouth PCA Gallery.
From the Soviet Proletkult, to the agitprops of pre-war Europe, through to the socialist, anarchist, and union-run troupes in the Americas and European colonies, the project reveals the dynamic ways in which working class theatre, through its coalescing of fictional and factual material, has informed and infected radical consciousness.
The show was a satirical, carnivalesque production of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, the classic ‘muckraking’ exposé of the Chicago meat-packing industry from the turn of the century. Eerily relevant to this day, the novel was re-staged within the gallery, with the conventional ‘materials’ of theatre both front stage and back – props, score, sound effects, scenography, makeup and costumes – strewn about the space, waiting to be imaginatively activated by the audience.
On the opening night, the fantastic Julie Cunningham activated our work and interpreted characters of the book, referencing Vsevolod Meyerholds etudes.