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A cut above

10 May 2006

Tickets were like gold dust for Mark Ravenhill’s (BA 1987) latest play The Cut at Bristol Old Vic.

Tickets were like gold dust for Mark Ravenhill’s (BA 1987) latest play The Cut at Bristol Old Vic. Produced by Donmar, the play stars Sir Ian McKellen as Paul, an ordinary man with a secret. At home, he is a loving husband and father who spouts government-speak about targets, choices and inclusion; at work, he administers the cut. Paul is a government torturer who grapples with his conscience, but when the cut is eventually abolished, he chooses darkness over rehabilitation. With echoes of Orwell’s 1984 and Kafka’s The Trial , Ravenhill’s engrossing new play is currently touring the UK.

And in one of the most surprising commissions of the century, Mark has also been asked to script the Barbican's first panto – Dick Whittington. He assured the press that it will be a family pantomime, and won't feature so much as a whiff of a rent-boy. The panto is due to open on 5 December 2006.