How much responsibility should journalists take for the words they write? Are we all ‘citizen journalists’ now? How much responsibility should we take for the information we share and the arguments we make online?
In world premiere drama For the Sake of Argument, written and directed by Harry Darell, Eleanor Hickock is a passionate and argumentative polemical journalist who becomes the Iraq War’s chief evangelist. For her, conversations are a battleground and words are tools for manipulation.
Eleanor’s stance on the US-UK led 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein persuades one young reader, Mark, to enlist. When Mark’s mother seeks out the journalist who convinced her son to die for his country, sparks fly and violent confrontations ensue. Eleanor is faced with a family in mourning and is asked to answer for it.
This hard-hitting new play interrogates the power and danger of language. In our world of clickbait and instantaneous reaction on social media, people formulate entire beliefs based on 240 characters and the headlines of pieces they’ve barely read. This play looks to promote the value of compassion and understanding, highlighting the dangers of flippantly taking radical positions on important issues. It encourages patience rather than knee-jerk reaction.
In For the Sake of Argument, Ashleigh Cole stars as Eleanor Hickock alongside Georgie Farmer, Greg Snowden, Paula Cassina, Ella May, Arthur Velarde, Harry Eaton-Mercer, Lucia France, Matt Weyland and Harry Farmer.