What is verbatim theatre?
Rather than fictional dialogue, Who Cares uses the verbatim theatre technique of capturing real life speech and then performing it. Based on eighteen months of interviews with staff and experts on the NHS, from doctors and nurses to politicians, policy makers and historians, the play promises an unparalleled insight into one of the country’s most treasured but controversial institutions.
“I got some real inside access, so some of the material and subjects are areas that people don't really know about, even though it feels like the NHS is talked about a lot" Wynne told the BBC.
Promenade performance, London
A standing audience will move from the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs into separate spaces of the building in an immersive promenade performance. “Using the whole theatre is thrilling and people always love going into places where they don’t normally go” hints Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court.
In perhaps another clue about the scope and ambition of the production, a trio of Royal Court directors -- Lucy Morrison, Hamish Pirie and Debbie Hannan -- will join forces, each directing different parts of the show.
Who Cares: Michael Wynne's verbatim play
This new Michael Wynne play comes after the playwright's extensive and fruitful career at the Royal Court, with productions including The Knocky (Meyer Whitworth Award – Best New Playwright and Best New Writer Nomination – Writers Guild), The Priory (Olivier Award – Best New Comedy), The People Are Friendly, The Red Flag and Friday Night Sex.
Who Cares is part of the increasing trend for verbatim theatre. Capturing real voices has made a star of playwright Alecky Blythe whose verbatim musical London Road was a runaway success, with a film adaptation coming this summer. It will interesting to see how Wynne, known for a keen grasp of gritty comedy, moulds his material into a theatrical experience.
Wynne describes how he enjoyed meeting people as research for Who Cares: "normally it’s just sitting on my own making stuff up. People have been so fascinating and welcoming. There’s so much expertise and passion. You could do a play about one individual doctor at a time or one nurse”.
|What||Who Cares, Royal Court|
|Where||Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
10 Apr 15 – 16 May 15, 7:45 PM – 9:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Court|