In 2010, US Army Intelligence analyst Bradley Manning allegedly leaked classified documents to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. This year, Manning’s story comes to a head as he stands trial.
Desert is a multimedia exploration of this significant yet little known figure, blending real life transcripts with imagined events to probe into the heart of this extraordinary true story. Responding to events as they unfold, theMolinoGroup revisit their “excellent new play” (Exeunt) following its premiere at the Bike Shed last year.
The show will ask the questions how did this 25 year old super-intelligent, awkwardly effeminate soldier become the centrepiece in a war between WikiLeaks and the American government? His supporters claim ‘We are all Bradley Manning’; his detractors label him a national traitor. Where does that leave the man behind the media furore?
Alongside Desert, theMolinoGroup will also be creating a new piece of work during their residency. Provisionally titled The Roland Piece, this new piece explores the life of British surrealist artist and pacifist Roland Penrose and his involvement in the WW2 effort.
We will taking over the whole of the Bike Shed Theatre space to create a journey charting several decades of innovation and decay. A collage of music, movement and installation, The Roland Piece addresses what art means in a world beset by crisis.
Desert will be at the Exeter Bike Shed Theatre from May 21 to June 1. For times and tickets, pop over to the Exeter Bike Shed site.
Meanwhile, here’s a short film from the Molino Group for its funding push for Desert by means of an introduction: