Verbatim : Techniques in Contemporary Documentary Theatre
Publication Date: 1 July 2008
Verbatim Theatre is the surprise success story of the modern stage. As the name suggests Verbatim plays are written using only the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic. The plays are constructed by the playwright from the testimony of witnesses or those close to an event in order to lend the play an authority that shifts the theatre from mere entertainment to a form of reportage, politicising the audience.Recent successful verbatim plays include "The Colour of Justice" based on transcripts from the Stephen Lawrence murder trial, Robin Soans' "Talking to Terrorists" which uses interviews with victims and practitioners of terrorism, David Hare's "The Permanent Way", and the highly acclaimed "My Name is Rachel Corrie".In "Verbatim", leading practitioners write polemically about the techniques, intentions and ethics of documentary theatre. It includes contributions from David Hare, Max Stafford-Clark, Alecky Blythe, Nicolas Kent, Richard Norton-Taylor and Robin Soans.