County Hall Hosts Verbatim Voting Play Counted
Running from 15 April to 22 May, the production is a collaboration between Look Left Look Right Productions and the Roundhouse, and aims to get audiences thinking about why the upcoming general election is expected to see the lowest voter turnout in history.
Steve Bottoms, Ben Freedman and Mimi Poskitt, who devised and directed the show, talked to members of the British public about their attitudes to democracy and their intentions when it comes to voting this spring. The play is the result of a year's research and could not be premiering at a more auspicious moment in the political calendar, potentially coinciding with the yet-to-be-announced general election.
Described in its publicity material as a ‘documentary-play’, Counted follows in the footsteps of Look Left Look Right’s most recent production, The Caravan, a verbatim work that explored the impact of the severe flooding that affected so many areas of the UK in the summer of 2007. The show was presented in an actual caravan to audiences of no more than eight per performance to give a sense of the experiences of those who lives were disrupted by the event.
The company's choice of venue for Counted is no less fitting. The Grade II-listed County Hall was the seat of local government in London from when it was completed in 1922 until 1986, when Margaret Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council.
The Debating Chamber, along with what is now known as The Scoop, the outdoor amphitheatre on County Hall's river terrace, and a planned black box studio, were made available as theatre spaces in 2008, when County Hall was handed over to entertainment company Weird and Wonderful (See News, 18 Apr 2008).