Actors talk politics, pig gate, and sexism after show at Manchester’s HOME

David Cameron was the target of a political rant from the stars of Kneehigh theatre company’s musical Dead Dog In A Suitcase in the post-show talk at Manchester’s HOME yesterday.

The panel – consisting of the director, the cast, and Manchester University professors – aired their strong views on ‘pig gate’ after the penultimate performance of Cornish theatre company’s musical.

Dominic Marsh, the leading actor, related some of the tempestuous issues raised in the play to some of David Cameron’s and Lord Ashcroft’s recent actions.

The play raises issues of corruption, deceit, and blackmail – relatable to the recent allegations concerning the Prime Minister’s actions with a dead pig during his university days.

Dominic said: “These things are happening all the time and we go along with it but no, it’s wrong and it makes me really angry!”

The actor, who starred in BBC’s Doctors, also feels that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader is a sign that people are tired of the country’s current political situation.

He said: “Corbyn winning is a sign of discontentment in society. People are going ‘No, no, I’ve had enough’.”

The dynamic musical is a co-production with Liverpool Everyman and combines opera, dance and puppetry in this eclectic piece based on an 18th century play.

The male lead described the overriding tone of the play as ‘furious, full frontal energy,’ accurately depicting the in-your-face nature of the fast-paced musical.

He said: “It’s rare that you go to the theatre to feel angry. It’s really therapeutic.

“It seems that we kind of assault you – that’s part of the rant, part of the anger – it really suits the piece.”

Director Mike Shepherd, who is politically driven having followed the PussyRiot case and recently visited Syria, expressed his opinions about the disillusionment and apathy at present.

“I come from a generation when we genuinely thought we could change the world. I don’t know if we could or not,” he said.

“There’s an inherent desire to not only rant about the world and our wonderful government.”

Actress Beverly Rudd was impressed by the female characters in the play.

She said: “What I particularly like about the piece is that they are strong women and that’s the key to it. The women are strong and don’t fall at men’s feet.”

Hal Gladfelder, Professor of English and American Studies, at Manchester uni recounted his experience of this piece of theatre as being ‘sensually overwhelming’.

And his colleague Jackie Stacey, from the university’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Arts, said: “I was just reeling. It was an attack on the senses from all angles.”

Dead Dog In A Suitcase will be continuing on its UK tour for the rest of the year. 

Related Articles