Verbatim Theatre – Devising
How is the initial material being researched and developed at significant stages during the process of creating drama, in line with the specifics of Verbatim Theatre?
One of the key parts of this piece of drama is the quotations used. In verbatim theatre you can only say things that have been said before, whether in an article, interview or other form of media. Our piece is centred on the London Riots which were extensively reported on in 2011, so we had a lot of reportage to choose from for our research. Various members of the group gathered different types of research which we found online; some got articles, others found direct quotes from rioters or people affected. I decided to get some different types of research to use, so we could have different things to get inspiration from. We used part of an article from Wikipedia to help create our first scene by using short quotes to introduce what happened to cause the riots to happen. These short quotations worked well to quickly give background information before moving on to more detailed scenes.
One piece of research which I thought was really interesting and could be used in a creative way was a running commentary of quotes said by a rioter during an interview. To get the quotes I had to watch a video and write down what was being said as there wasn’t a transcript that I could use, which meant I could also see how they spoke and utilise that when we worked on that scene. Picking up on the intonation was useful to make the characters seem more realistic with their speech and body language. We started to work with this research to come up with a scene involving the interview quotes. We experimented with a few different ways before deciding to almost recreate the actual interview; a reporter and the other actors all being rioters. This also showed how the rioters overpowered the reporters and other people, such as the police, as there were more of them. We also incorporated...
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