Saturday, 25 October 2008

Verbatim and Robben Island Bible 23rd Oct 08

If I am completely honest I had never heard of Verbatim Theatre before (blonde I no!) but I do now yaaay! I found a fantastic definition of Verbatim on 'Verbatim plays are, as the name suggests, written using only the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic'. Mark suggested a few Verbatim plays to read for the lesson including Permanent Way by David Hare and Talking to Terrorists by Robin Soans. My favourite out of them all is Cancer Tales by Nell Dunn as I have never met my Grandma due to cancer. As we were also talking about placements for our assessment in the lesson reading Cancer Tales inspired me. My idea is to maybe work with a local cancer support group to create a production to raise awareness and at the same time raise money for the charity (via tickets to the production). I am unsure weather to base the production on their personal experiences (with permission) or base it on a published play?

In lesson Mark also mentioned Matthew Hahn's project on Robben Island Bible and his ongoing blog. Reading Matthew Hahn's blog really inspired me to find out more about Robbens Island, so I really recommend taking the time to have look at his blog. First of all I found a website that gave a brief history on apartheid and Robben Island - The next website is more on the prison and a photo tour. The actual tours are done by ex-prisoners which I think is fantastic and brave as it must be such an emotional place for them. The website for this is I felt very touched by the photo tour and would like to go there sometime in the future.
In the summer I went to see my uncle and auntie in Sarasota, Florida which is just south of Orlando. It is a town that is not touristy like Orlando so I was very lucky to get a taste of Floridian culture. I was extremely surprised when my uncle and auntie made a remark of we get funny looks when we ride our bikes to the shops (as they have recently moved from Holland where bikes have priority over cars!!! I'd love to see it happen here!). Me being me asked why? She explained that most Hispanics do not own cars and they cycle. They have jobs like groundsman and cleaning etc.. so there is a clear cultural divide in the area. For the next two weeks of the holiday I was more aware of it. I did not agree with this and as a result of cultural divide I was slightly frightened to go on my own anywhere. I was extremely shocked that this is still happening and my uncle said it may even take a while for this cultural divide to end.

1 comment:

Mark Griffin said...


I think if you're going to follow the idea of creating a verbatim piece around Cancer that you should definately arrange to talk with trevor who directed and helped develop the original Cancer Tales. He may be able to give you advice on how to proceed.

Really pleased you've signed up to Matt's blog. Please do promote the work to others - as you say it's a really astonishing project.