Northern Broadsides and York Theatre Royal have once again joined forces to stage They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! adapted by former Coronation Street star Deborah McAndrew.
McAndrew is now of our leading adaptors of classic work and this time she has transposed Dario Fo’s political satire of civil disobedience Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! to Brexit Britain.
Directed by Northern Broadsides new Artistic Director and Joint CEO Conrad Nelson, the new adaptation based on Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante’s translation, will premiere at York Theatre Royal from 5th - 13th October and will then tour till December 2nd..
They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! tells the story of Anthea who gets mixed up in a riot at her local supermarket and seizes the opportunity to stock her empty cupboards and those of her friend. But what will the two friends tell their law-abiding husbands?
Northern Broadsides and York Theatre Royal previously worked together in York on Blake Morrison’s adaptation of Goldoni’s Italian farce The Man with Two Gaffers in 2006 and in 2016 on a revival of J.B. Priestley’s much-loved classic comedy When We Are Married.
Deborah McAndrew’s plays have included First World War drama An August Bank Holiday Lark for Northern Broadsides and New Vic Theatre which won both UK Theatre Award and Manchester Theatre Award for Best New Play 2014. Her credits for Northern Broadsides include Hard Times Cyrano, A Government Inspector and Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
“Dario Fo tackled everything through comedy - no matter how unfunny that might appear to be,” says Deborah McAndrew. “In his Italy of the 1970s there are clear parallels with the kind of food poverty we see in 21st Century Britain - with the growth of food banks and holiday hunger projects. It's interesting to note that Fo reworked this play himself in 2010. He updated the references and changed the title from the original Can't Pay? Won't Pay! but it's pretty much the same play.
“Like Accidental Death of an Anarchist, which I adapted for Northern Broadsides in 2008, They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! is a great fit for a company with a bold, narrative style and a direct connection to its audience in performance.
“They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! is fast and funny, but also sharp and relevant - providing countless opportunities to satirise the state of our own politics and the plight of the poorest people in society at a time of sustained austerity policy, Brexit, and ideological infighting on both sides of the Commons.”
They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! opens at York Theatre Royal, from 5th – 13th October and will then tour to Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford; Hull Truck Theatre; Liverpool Playhouse; New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme; Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield; Stephen Joseph Theatre and the Viaduct Theatre, Halifax.