Set in a classroom, the piece is inspired by the transcript of a rape trial from As ever with Breach, you probably need to be there, but it'll undoubtedly be worth your while. Breach Theatre in association with Theatre presents.
It’s True, It’s True, It’s True - HOME
Based on surviving court transcripts, this new play dramatises the seven-month trial that gripped Renaissance Rome, and asks how much has changed in the last four centuries. Blending myth, history and contemporary commentary, this is the story of how a woman took revenge through her art to become one of the most successful painters of her generation.
Anyone still unconvinced of the upsides of gender-blind or cross-gender casting would do well to watch Webb and the rest of the company in action. Needless to say, the issues explored in this production are bitingly relevant and the company clearly revel in placing the characters and their actions in a contemporary context.
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However, Breach do much more than merely point out the parallels between the trial and its modern-day equivalents. They are concerned as much with the political and psychological power of art and representation as they are with the fundamental problems of the judiciary system when it comes to serving the victims of rape.
Breach deftly find humour where they can, with many finely stitched comic touches that offer relief without undermining the harrowing events of the story, in fact the irony often works to heighten the shocking realities at play. Judith in a blue dress, her maid in a red dress, Holofernes in a white smock. Exhibit C: Three female performers in black suits with oversized white pointy collars and cuffs.
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Curled into claws of pain. Dripping with gold blood. They made her repeat her confession with her hands in thumb screws.
Agostino interrogated Artemisia under torture. Who was on trial here? Are visual images more trustworthy than words?
In documentary theatre, which Breach engages with by using original court transcripts, words are put on trial. Yet the paradox of documentary theatre is that it makes a heightened truth claim to other modes of theatre by presenting evidence, but shapes and edits its evidence as much as any other type of theatre.
His word against hers. One of them must be lying.
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Repeated until it no longer sounds like a phrase, the meaning of the words within starting to disintegrate. There is something here about performance and repetition. Does repeating your testimony make it less true?