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The Author (Tour - Birmingham)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Tim Crouch’s new production is an immersive, interactive event which relies on the dynamics of an audience to steer both the scripted and improvised word.

Seated in two banks facing one another with the actors seated within them, the audience have nothing to inspect but the other spectators-thus leading to a comic and fascinating dialogue outside the realms of the play as each individual tries to configure who is an actor and who is not- although essentially we all are the performers in the piece.

Whilst the production asks for spontaneity, it also does not shy away from making us aware this is still a performance, still a scripted work. The unusual mixing pot of the two brings a shifting dynamic that constantly evolves throughout the discourse of the production and never lets its audience sit back, but at the same time keeps them under control.

Crouch, who is also a performer in the piece, questions the connection between what we see and what we do and the consequences that follow in our society. At what point does what we see and watch make us as responsible as those who do it? The play does not answer; we are left to do that.

The brash and unrestrained content of the production may shock some people, but it is there for a reason- to encourage active discussion in relation to the questions it asks. This, it does extremely effectively through both its content and form.

- Ben Wooldridge


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