Mama Quilla Productions—Arts for Change

Theatre, film, digital art installations, workshops and print

Artistic Director/Executive Producer: Kay Adshead

Powerful passionate committed piece of theatre that if seen widely enough may change hearts and minds. – The Guardian


This is political theatre at its best. – Scotland on Sunday


Political theatre is alive again.  – Evening Standard

What the Press said: Bites

A co-production with the Bush Theatre directed by Lisa Goldman

Bites directed by Elena Vannoni (Morsi / Bisse in the Rome / Berlin productions)

“Imaginative, fluent, funny and hideous ... a world in which the relationships between the characters are vicious and cannibalistic, and people are all so much meat ... will provide plenty of nourishment” – Matthew Sweet, The Evening Standard, 18 January 2005“Performances are rich and textured ... What a wonderful moment it is when three sisters (Ishia Bennison, Yvonne Gidden and Karina Femandez) ... open the door of an abandoned fridge and in its glowing yellow light savour little spoonfuls of its forbidden contents. Part innocent joy, part doomed transgression ...”“Bites has been criticised by some liberal reviewers for not sticking close to hard facts. Frankly, such sad narrow-mindedness spectacularly misses the point. This is a political work, but it is also a work of the imagination. Think Bertholt Brecht and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui – Hitler never traded cabbages ... facts do not speak for themselves, and drama –  authentic drama, that is – reaches deep into the human condition in a way that is impossible for tarted-up journalism. Leave that to David Hare, Victoria Brittaain and the Royal National Theatre.”“Bites is, thank goodness, not another of those tiresome docudramas so admired by the timid middle classes and the unthinking left.”“Bites has already sold out for much of its run. Get a ticket while you can.”– Jack Conrad, The Weekly Worker, 20 January 2005 

“The author wants to convene a public inquiry into the workings of the whole planet?  Well, why not? … It's called Bites, I suspect, because the play ... snaps, snips and bites at our mind … crisp, tough, pointed writing.” – Benedict Nightingale, The Times, 17 January 2005

“Bites is a powerfully written, freewheeling fantasy which mixes surrealism with satire. The effect is like watching a suppurating wound, vivid in its agony, fascinating in its terror.  … .Strong performances from Ishia Bennison, Karina Femandez, Yvonne Gidden, Chris Jarman and Owen Oakeshott prove that making fierce political points can also be very entertaining.” – Aleks Sierz, The Stage, 20 January 2005

“We are in a devouring world, with scenes set in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Texas ... greed, power and a kind of bogus divinity are lethally connected.” – John Peter, Sunday Times, 23 January 2005

“A seven scene political cabaret ... terrifying intensity ... shock twists ... superb performances ... precision-pitched acting.” – Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate, 17 January 2005

“Kay Adshead is a deeply political writer with left-wing, feminist leanings. She also happens to be far more enigmatic than most.  Bites combines these two traits to dazzling effect ... compassionate insight … real power to shock and provoke thought about primal issues … very moving ...  It has the logic and poetry of dreams.  Surprisingly, this does not detract from Kay Adshead's important message” – Phillip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide, 17 January 2005

“Adshead's writing is unashamedly poetic ... wonderfully dramatic moments.  Life can be hell and Adshead ably and imaginatively demonstrates that violence can erupt at any given moment in any part of the world ... an enigmatic piece of theatre that proves strangely compelling.” – Lucy Popescu, Theatreworld, 18 January 2005

“Playwright Kay Adshead ... [has] been presenting political theatre for many years, beginning long before it became fashionable ...As in Pinter's most political plays, you can feel Adshead's anger, and that is better than helplessness in the face of the world's brutalities ... expect to be put on the spot.”  – Time Out, 19 January 2005


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