From: Wednesday, 6th May 2009
To: Saturday, 30 May 2009
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Based on the killing of James Bulger in February 1993. 'Do you think it is useful to watch / the enactment of two children killing a third? / Do you think it might teach you something? / Do you think you can tell your friends: / Last week I went to the theatre and saw / two children killing a third?' In a forest of monitors, speakers and microphones, this stark, poetic play will not only explore the immediate events surrounding Jamesí killing, but will also interrogate how and why we re-tell stories, and why you have come to watch and listen. Four actors will deconstruct what happened that February in a poignant theatrical experience, swapping and sharing roles to create a different performance every night. Based on the facts, the voices of Robert, Jon, Robertís mum, Jonís mum and the police investigators will confront our personal and collective memories and invite us to imagine the truth anew.
11 May 2009
Part re-enactment of a tragedy’s aftermath and part meditation on the notion of evil, Niklas Radstrom’s Monsters (translated by Gabriella Berggren from the Swedish original) examines a crime that was seared on to the nation’s collective consciousness back in 1993: the callous murder of two-year-old James Bulger by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. Shifting between bouts of verbatim theatre, accusatory questioning and choric invocations, director Christopher Haydon’s production turns a sharp eye on how society deals with child criminality.
We are initially asked why we came; the performers standing in a line seemingly contemptuous of usual audience expectations and detachment; “do you think it is useful to watch the enactment of two children killing a third?” Bearing witness ineffectually is a theme throughout and we learn 38 members of the public saw Bulger between his abduction and death without intervening. We go on to see police qu...
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