Nixon in Agony

Adam Donen / Steven Berkoff / Robert Harder presented by 12th Battalion Productions

The door to the Oval Office is locked. Inside, a drunken, raging President Nixon attempts to write his resignation speech. He is haunted by the ghosts of former presidents, and of his many enemies. Based on actual historical accounts of the final 24 hours of his reign, Nixon in Agony sees the President (played by theatre and cinema legend Steven Berkoff) deploring his fate even as it creeps closer. It asks: for such a man, can there be absolution? As the President descends into madness, the audience are placed inside his head using psycho-acoustic and binaural effects, where every self-justification, every rambling excuse, and the vitriol of every critic echoes through the darkest night of the President’s soul. This bold, timely and technologically ground-breaking audio drama by Adam Donen, inventor of the holographic drama, working with Grammy Award winning audio producer Robert Harder, offers a perspective on the past that seems totally of our present. The subject is Nixon, but it could just as well be Jacob Zuma or Donald Trump. A nightmarish private view into the ruined gallery of a corrupted and broken man’s mind.

World premiere

NOTE: In order to experience Nixon in Agony as its creators intended, listening in isolation with stereo headphones is strongly advised.

  • Genre: Audio Drama
  • Format: Audio
  • Duration: 1hr
  • Language: English
  • Ages: 12+
  • Available From: June 25, 2020

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Created, written and directed by Adam Donen

Starring  Steven Berkoff as President Richard Nixon

Additional voices: Daniel Booroff, Petar Cvirn, Christopher Danowski, Alberto Denis, Adam Donen, Nathan Gusdorf, Ben Lawrence, Cecilia le Poer Power, Benjamin Linzy, Ivan Marevich, Joe Naftali, Louis Netter, Jordan Osserman, David Pizzo, Rik Sansone, Ela Stipicic, Michael Striler, Raymond Striler, Mark Troy

Mix and sound design by Robert Harder
Produced by Adam Donen, Robert Harder & Daniel Reynolds
Associate Producer – Ela Stipicic
Assistant Producer – Agatha Vornicu
Music by Adam Donen
Graphics and Artwork – Ela Stipicic
Texts, research, advice and documentation: Magnus Arrevad, Andrew Balint, Juliane Mendelsohn, Robert Price, Anna Zassimova
Sound engineer (Steven Berkoff) – Darren Jones @ Miloco

A 12th Battalion production

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Steven Berkoff is a British actor, author, playwright, director and national treasure. He remains the most prominent proponent of non-naturalistic performance in the English-speaking theatre world, and his own plays, of which East is perhaps the most famous, are on syllabuses – and performed – across the world. His theatrical performances, whether Shakespearean or modern (with his Coriolanus as a particular highlight) are the stuff of legend. He has received litanies of awards and citations, including the Society of London Theatre’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His most famous popular cinematic roles include the Bond villain General Orlov in Octopussy, Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop and Lt. Col. Podovsky in Rambo among a litany of others, while he has appeared in more serious roles for Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon) and, more recently, in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the TV series Vikings.

Adam Donen: Described on BBC News as “either a genius or a madman”, Donen is the inventor of the ‘holographic drama’ artform, the writer and director of Symphony to a Lost Generation, the two hundred strong holographic cast of which was led by ballet legend Sergei Polunin, butoh goddess Minako Seki and Bollywood icon Shekhar Ravjiani, with music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Choir and Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, a composer who counts The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell among his collaborators, and a writer and director for stage. His first ‘traditional’ feature film, a retelling of Alice in Wonderland set the day of the Brexit vote, will complete filming shortly after the global pandemic. His first poetry performance was delivered at age 6 to freedom fighters in Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, South Africa. He now lives in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Robert Harder, producer, engineer and sound designer, is responsible for Grammy winning work with Brian Eno and David Byrne, Super Bowl half time tracks and catwalk shows for Dior. He has recently produced work for Herbie Hancock, Neneh Cherry and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and is currently developing large-scale VR sound technology for VRC Company (Steven Spielberg and Robert Stromberg), as well as consulting for award winning sound design studio Q-Department. Born in Bavaria, his primary studio and residence is now in Joshua Tree, Los Angeles.”