Tragedy of HS2 to be performed on stage
Camden's People Theatre to show devastating effect controversial train project has had on borough
22 March, 2019 — By Tom Foot
Andrew Adonis, was told he should relinquish his ‘Baron of Camden Town’ for being a HS2 cheerleader
THE tragedy of HS2 is being staged at a theatre neighbouring the railway’s main construction site.
Human Jam – part of the 25th-year celebrations of Camden People’s Theatre – tells untold stories from residents and traders “devastated and displaced” by construction work.
It will feature a ghost from unmarked graves being exhumed at St James’s Gardens.
Artistic director Brian Logan said the theatre had been in the “eye of the HS2 storm, ever since it was a twinkle in Baron Adonis’s eye.
He said they started researching the show “when they closed the local park, and all information about it being the burial ground”.
The play will tell the story of the exhumation, “the biggest in European history”, and the community. “It’s not a play, it’s documentary theatre,” he added. “There will be community participation, a community choir.”
He will be performing a tongue-in-cheek lecture which will be disrupted by a “ghost visitation” from St James’s Gardens graves.
“Camden is one of London’s most iconic places, but it also harbours countless untold stories – none more so than those of the residents and traders (and human remains) devastated and displaced by HS2,” he added.
The Hampstead Road theatre is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a festival, Camden Roar, which includes shows about the borough.
Hip-hop theatre company Beats and Elements is staging High Rise eState of Mind – a show about young people’s fears of where they will live.
It will be seen at two community centres in Camden. Other shows include King’s Cross, about the hidden histories of LGBTQ people in 1980s London, Until You Hear That Bell, about amateur boxers in Camden, and Cadets, about Camden volunteer police trying to save their unit from being disbanded. Tickets are available online or by calling the theatre, with a three-week run beginning on 7 May.
Meanwhile, partnership between Mace/Dragados this week signed a contract with HS2 to build the “terminus” at Euston, following a 19-month procurement process. The two firms have worked on projects at Battersea Power Station, Mumbai International airport (terminal 2) and high-speed rail stations at Madrid and Barcelona.
HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “Together, we will deliver a new landmark station that will be the London gateway to HS2.”
At Euston, demolition is already well under way, with the former carriage sheds north of the station cleared, and the National Temperance Hospital and IBIS hotel now fully