The Big Lie still a favourite Authoritarian Tactic

There was, it would seem, no prospect of Gu Kailai submissively playing her part in the show trial which took place in Beijing last week. Previously, the regime would simply have held the trial in secret and announced the results to its gullible public. But appearances now matter even to those currently holding the reins within the dictatorship. So they had to put on at least a token “one day” trial to make it look like something resembling justice was being delivered. When the star of the show refuses to co-operate, however, it’s necessary to recruit an understudy.
Frankly, in the context of a totalitarian regime, which China still is, even though it has dramatically loosened up since Mao’s day, it’s not even a particularly extreme behaviour. What IS bizarre, though, is that they made so little effort to cover up their subterfuge. Given that the point was to show her confession and docile acceptance of the punishment on Television, surely they could have found a better match and surely, even with the poor match they did find, a decent stage make-up artist could have made the actress look at least close enough to suppress giggles of disbelief!

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Michael Sheen’s The Passion: 72 hours in theatre heaven | Lyn Gardner | Stage | guardian.co.uk

Everything I’ve heard and seen about this modern Passion Play makes me want to see it.

It might even qualify as a major new art form, given the multiple simultaneous staging of the story, in real-time, with an audience directly participating (by recording and “witnessing” the events as they happened) on an unprecedented scale.

It will certainly put Port Talbot on the map. What I can’t figure out is why it’s currently only showing – on its UK Release Date – in 3 sodding cinemas. You’d have thought at least the Welsh cinemas would have wanted to punt it. Weird…

Click this to watch Michael Sheen guide us through the making of the movie