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New Live Theatre play puts the spotlight on tax havens

Award-winning writer and performer Caroline Horton is back at Live Theatre to preview her new play about tax avoidance

Caroline Horton who stars in her own play, Islands
Caroline Horton who stars in her own play, Islands

Award-winning writer and performer Caroline Horton is previewing her new play, Islands, at Newcastle’s Live Theatre this weekend.

The play, a dark comedy about tax avoidance, has two showings in the city before a January run at London’s Bush Theatre.

Horton, who wrote and will perform in the play, believes it’s about something that needs to be heard.

“It needs a picture painting and that’s what I’m trying to do,” she says.

“It’s an exploration of the effects of offshore finance and tax avoidance and it takes us into the greater magical worlds of what’s humane and what’s inhumane, more than just what’s legal and what’s illegal.

“It’s playful, bold, crude and disgusting.”

Elaborating on the subject of tax avoidance, Horton says: “It all sounds really complicated which puts non-experts off. But I think everyone is interested. I first got interested in 2008 when I realised how the economy works.

“I started to read more about it, particularly offshore tax havens. I used to think they were just these islands that are not really any harm.

“The farcical press make it out like, ‘Oh, look, we’ve found another one’. But there’s a lot more to it than that.”

The theatre pre-publicity quotes David Cameron: “As you know, I have made fighting the scourge of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance a priority.”

It adds: “We thought the PM might need a hand.”

Live Theatre are welcoming back Horton, who has worked there previously, and she is excited about how the theatre helps the play.

“This is an amazing opportunity to try it out in a place that’s in touch with its audience,” she says.

“The Live audience are up for new things. They go, ‘This sounds crazy or different, let’s go’... and that’s really rare and precious.

“You have to look for supportive, brave venues so it’s amazing having a relationship with this theatre.”

Islands by Caroline Horton, directed by Omar Elerian, previews at Live Theatre on November 14 and 15 at 7.30pm. Box office: 0191 232 1232

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