Verbatim or documentary theatre can be a difficult genre to master, as interview transcripts can make for a dull, monotonous performance if they’re not dramatically enhanced by the writer.
This production works well, on the whole, in that the subject matter is both shocking and captivating. However, without the animated, talented cast of three, the jackanory-style storytelling narrative could be tedious. Chris Thorpe provides a musical soundtrack throughout with song and electric guitar. This creates atmosphere and, at times, heartbreaking antithesis; such as his performance of a karaoke love song during a re-enactment of a massacre.
The subject matter is both emotive and moving; What I Heard About The World intends to draw a memory-based world map for the audience using images and stories, in contrast to the Ordnance Survey maps of our planet we’re so used to viewing.
The play focuses on the experiences of single individuals rather than that of entire countries. The audience leave feeling that the world is a smaller place having been made aware that human feelings, fears and desires are identical the world over.