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|Big Dada Gets First Bite
- Idi Amin drama starts showcase of international theatre at the Barbican
THE BARBICAN International Theatre Event (BITE) kicks off this evening with a series of performances and talks running until October 6. Despite the Royal Shakespeare Company's plans to decamp from their Barbican base, the Grade II listed building looks committed as ever to hosting theatre from around the world.
First up is South African director Brett Bailey's Big Dada. Acclaimed for his staging of recent African history, Bailey uses the songs and dances of West and Central Africa to dramatize the rise of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Other highlights include US writer-director Richard Maxwell's equally poetic Boxing 2000, and the chorus Repertory Theatre of Manipur's Uttar Priyadarshi, by Ratan Thiyam.
Like may of the artists showcased in the festival, Indian director Thiyam designs and choreographs as well as writing. Appropriately, the smorgasboard of dance, mask and literary work showcased on the Barbican stage runs in tandem with a series of talks on cultural crossovers in the international theatre scene.