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Conspiracy, Barrel Organ's award-winning drama comes to New Diorama Theatre

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Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING its success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Conspiracy, Barrel Organ’s award-winning drama transfers to New Diorama Theatre, where it runs from Tuesday, September 10 to Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Three people sit in a room. The context of their meeting is unclear, but they’re examining a famous photo, and they all agree that something about it is not quite right.

They’re conspiracy theorists and they think they’re on to something big; but each discovery leads to the next inconsistency, the next inconvenient untruth, until their whole perception of the world, of each other, of themselves, of the very concept of truth, becomes the object of their mistrust.

From this original kernel of suspicion and refusal to take the world at face value, springs a deluge of conspiracy theories: Princess Diana never landed on the moon. Elvis lives in Area 51. JFK did 9/11. And in learning more about their outlandish beliefs, we come to learn more about the anatomy of these stories, the people who espouse them, and the role conspiracies play in their lives.

60% of Brits believe in at least one conspiracy theory. And not all of them are wearing tinfoil hats. In 2019, yesterday’s conspiracies are today’s election manifesto promises, fuelled by fake news, the social-media driven breakdown of human interaction and trust, and the weaponisation of truth and lies by shadowy forces as part of a rapacious thirst for power.

Conspiracy will be performed by Rose Wardlaw, who recently starred in Blithe Spirit at the Bath Theatre Royal, Azan Ahmed who is set to star in (This isn’t) A True Story at the Almeida Theatre, and Shannon Hayes, who recently starred in the BBC’s acclaimed drama Years & Years.

Multi award-winning Barrel Organ have created a postmodern pastiche about conspiracy theories, fake news and an epidemic of mistrust. Using their signature fast-paced dialogue and a hatful of theatrical surprises to recreate the chaos of a world where nothing is as you perceive it, Conspiracy tells the stories of people brought crashing together to find the truth, to exploit hysteria and to fight the rising tide.

Barrel Organ’s previous work includes: Anyone’s Guess How We Got Here, Some People Talk About Violence and Nothing, while for Conspiracy the company is a recipient of The New Diorama & Underbelly Untapped Award 2019.

Conspiracy is directed by Dan Hutton (Big Guns, The Yard), with design by Rose Elnile (The Wolves, Stratford East), lighting design by Josh Pharo (The Color Purple, Leicester Curve, Birmingham Hippodrome and Going Through, Bush Theatre) and sound design by Kieran Lucas (Square Go, Paines Plough Roundabout).