Alecky Blythe & Verbatim Theatre 4/01/17

Lynn’s Lesson – 4th January 2017

We always learn incredibly interesting things in Lynn’s lessons and today we covered a range of different topics in different scripts, firstly the play ‘Come Out Eli’. We talked about the way Alecky Blythe the artistic director of this piece and how she works. In her review, Gardner (2003) states “Come Out Eli was created from interviews conducted during the Hackney Siege in 2002.” Alecky Blythe is a verbatim practioner, she uses interviews collected from real life people about an event and then the real life people will be portrayed on stage by actors. In the video below she explains how it is a ‘gorgeous’ way to write because you can get content from the people being interviewed that she would never dream of being able to write.

Using the video above to get a better understanding of Verbatim theatre I think it gives you a result at the end which means it is very true and real. In the interview playwright David Hare mentions its not simply writing from your imagination and your recollection of peoples way of life but collecting evidence which can be very revealing. It interests me and I like this way of working. It would be amazing to watch this on stage, I feel like the actors would need to copy exactly what they hear to make the piece honest and respect the interviews of those who had taken part. If there was a miss interpretation it could mean that the persons interview is given a different meaning to what they originally thought.

After looking at ‘Come Out Eli’ we went on to look at more of her work, The National Theatre production of the feature film ‘London Road’. Blythe worked on this with Adam Cork who did the music and Rufus Norris director of this piece. Blythe recorded interviews with people from Ipswich and Adam Cork uses the interviews to create music rhythmic speech patterns. ‘London Road’ is a musical it is clever and unique. The way Verbatim Theatre is combine with rhythmic speech patterns, around a true and challenging topic is interesting. I need to see the film.

“Based on the National Theatre’s highly acclaimed verbatim musical directed by Rufus Norris, which he now directs as a feature film, LONDON ROAD documents an incident from 2006, when the town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women.” (BBC, 2015)

Image result for london road film


BBC (2015) BBC Films London Road. Available at:  (Accessed: 5 January 2017)

Gardner, L (2003) Come Out Eli Available at: (Accessed: 5 January 2017)




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