Why is verbatim theatre so often lacking theatricality? 

Convener(s): Stella Duffy 

Participants: Shanti Freed, Rebecca Maltby, Rebecca Manson-Jones, Mark, Sara Bynoe, Jonathan Petherbrdige, Heather Taylor, Alisan Mead, Nick Phillips, Mandy Fenton, Gary, Julie, Lisa Hammond

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

I’m really not sure how to write this up, as what I personally mostly heard was a list of shows people loved/were moved by/were touched by that were in some way perceived to be verbatim. This felt very unusual for a D&D discussion. It was less about feeling/views and much more about WITNESSING the witnessing of verbatim.

Some questions/statements :

Why is it ok for a real character (in a verbatim piece) to be an ignorant fucker and not ok in a scripted piece?

Is the verbatim writer a writer or an editor or a composer or a choreographer or an auteur?

‘Based on a true story’ gives legitimacy.

People are afraid of ‘political theatre’ – verbatim gives freedom to make political work?

Verbatim happens now, often with more immediacy.

Called to witness.

Honouring the material (sometimes over-honouring it, over-honouring the person who gives/tells.)

Sometimes we’re more moved by fiction.

It’s not enough just to be true, there is a need for THEATRE as well.