Playwright and scriptwriter Alecky Blythe is coming to the University of Reading on Thursday 19th November. Everyone is very welcome. Please bring your friends.
Bulmershe Theatre, Minghella Building, 4.00
A talk and Q&A with Professor Lib Taylor (FTT). Alecky Blythe will be discussing her verbatim method on plays such as Come Out Eli (2003), Cruising (2006) and The Girlfriend Experience (2010), as well as her experience of working on the musical theatre piece, London Road (2011 & 12). Everyone welcome
Reading Film Theatre, Palmer Building, 7.30
An introduction to the film London Road.
Alecky Blythe is a playwright and screenwriter whose highly acclaimed verbatim plays and films are developed via using the vocal recordings of real people as the script. Blythe records interviews which are edited to produce a sound text. The actors in most of her work don’t learn their lines but rather listen to the script through earphones while performing, and reproduce exactly what they are hearing, including all the stumbles, repetitions and hesitations as well as the accents, emphasis, colour, pitch, pace, intonation and inflexions of the original speakers.
In London Road, which focused on interviews with the people affected by the Ipswich murders in 2006, some of the recorded material was filtered through a musical score so that everyday speech created the rhythm and melodies of the songs. It has now been made into a very successful film to be shown at RFT on 19th November.
London Road won the Laurence Olivier Award of Best New Musical in 2012. This is one of a number of awards that Blythe has won: Come Out Eli was awarded the Time Out Award for Best Production on the Fringe in 2003; Do We Look Like Refugees?, won a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010.
Her most recent work has focused on the London Riots with a TV Documentary, The Riots in their Own Words (BBC 2, 2012) in which actors listened to and spoke the words of real people and Little Revolution, at the Almeida Theatre in 2014, which mixed professional actors with a chorus of local volunteers.
Blythe’s play Do We Look Like Refugees? began its British tour with a performance at the opening Minghella Building in 2011 and we are delighted to welcome Alecky Blythe Back to Reading.
Lib Taylor is Professor of Theatre and Performance in Film, Theatre & Television. She has published widely on the body in performance, women’s theatre and contemporary British theatre. She has directed and devised research performances, including performances of Marguerite Duras’s later plays and the theatre writings of Gertrude Stein. She was co-investigator on the AHRC research project Acting with Facts,which focused on documentary theatre and television. See http://www.reading.ac.uk/ftt/research/ftt-actingwithfacts.aspx Among its publications it produced an archive of thirty interviews with actors and directors, including Alecky Blythe, on approaches to performing real people in verbatim plays. See http://www.reading.ac.uk/ftt/research/ftt-actingwithfacts-interviews.aspx