Elise Gallagher is surprised by how good monologues can be in There Has Possibly Been an Incident.
8 Sep 2013
Royal Exchange, Manchester
In all honesty when I sat down in the Royal Exchange Studio and saw three chairs staring back at me I thought I wouldn't like There Has Possibly Been an Incident. I felt uncomfortable with the fact that there wasn't going to be a lot of live drama and thought that the writing alone wouldn't support it. I was incredibly wrong. I now feel that if it did consist of live action and interaction among the characters that it would distract from the talent in the show.
After all it is dialogue that helps shape people's perceptions and choices, their actions come afterwards. The setting consists of three single chairs, blue carpet and cream blinds in the back drop, I felt like I was looking into a reception area. This highlighted the characters and the combined talent of: Barrett, Brockis and Warsama, whilst at the same time creating an almost intimate atmosphere as they confessed.
There has Possibly Been an Incident projects a series of interlocking tales magnifying moments of someone's life when they are offered a choice of heroism or compromise, and the consequences of the choice.
Writer and Fringe First winner Chris Thorpe broadcasts moments of choice with such clarity that I felt the dialogue reflected the heartbeat of the production. The fact that the piece is predominantly monologues from three different characters gives the piece scope and allows the audience to relate to a character. Thorpe writes in such a way that it became startlingly easy to place myself in one of the character's shoes and I felt myself gripped to their words and torn between what they chose to do.
This production illuminates today's society in such a way that I felt almost concerned with how things are, it is especially relevant with what is going on around the world today. However differing from reality each character had a clear sense of hope and drive – even Brockis' character who is clearly in the wrong.
If you prefer live action then I wouldn't recommend this play to you, however I feel that the character's monologues are strong and powerful enough to entertain and grip the audience for them to be fully satisfied without the aid of physical drama.