You know how sometimes you start thinking about something and then it’s everywhere? It’s been like this for the last six months with the 70s. Since we started thinking about upcoming production The Angry Brigade, presented by Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth, and set in the 70s, it seems like the decade is everywhere.
It’s not just that it’s taken centre stage in the the Spring/Summer 2015 collections meaning that you can’t get through a high street shop for flares and fringing; there’s also a new book and exhibition marking the career of the late Thea Porter, the woman who is credited with bringing the kaftan to Britain; it’s in the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at the Tate, an artist whose wild sense of colour informed the uninhibited tastes of the 70s. And it’s where the final series of Mad Men is set. Which is how you know you’re at the zenith of zeitgeist.
So why are the 70s back in fashion? Is there something more to it than simply 21st century fashion’s relentless cycling of 20th century trends?
In fact The Angry Brigade explores a story that is emblematic of a very different narrative of the 70s from the ones we often hear: basically either that it was crap, all power cuts and brown and orange carpet; or that it was frivolous, all platform shoes and glitter. In telling the true story of the Angry Brigade the play suggests that in the early years of the decade, at least, a very real passion simmered in Britain and Europe, that there was a vital, electrifying anger.
It’s interesting that during what is popularly being called the dullest yet most important general election in decades, it’s the 70s that we’ve turned to. Maybe a little bit more anger is what we need.
Dig more of that 70s vibe by watching the trailer for The Angry Brigade below. You can find out more about the play and buy tickets here.
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The Beasts @bushtheatre is so thought-provoking and smart and disturbing in bits. Go see it! Monica Dolan is a force