Rwanda to Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe to Bosnia answers are demanded, reconciliation hard to hear and the truth reluctant to be told.
debbie tucker green’s previous credits include random at the Royal Court, Theatre Local and tour and stoning mary. Her other plays include generations at the Young Vic, trade for the RSC and dirty butterfly at Soho. She won the 2004 Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer for born bad at Hampstead Theatre. On film, she wrote and directed the short film, heat and she has written and directed a film of random for Channel 4.
Running time 1hr 10mins approx
£10 Monday (available on the day of perf from 9am online, 10am in-person.)
Select a Date
Dates in September
|Thu 1 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available, Preview Performance||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 2 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available, Preview Performance||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 3 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available, Preview Performance||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Mon 5 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Press Night||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£10|
|Tue 6 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Tue 6 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Wed 7 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Thu 8 Sep 2011||4:00pm||Concessions Available, Mid-Week Matinee||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Thu 8 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 9 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 9 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 10 Sep 2011||4:00pm||Concessions Available, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 10 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 10 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Mon 12 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£10|
|Mon 12 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£10|
|Tue 13 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Tue 13 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Wed 14 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Thu 15 Sep 2011||4:00pm||Concessions Available, Mid-Week Matinee||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Thu 15 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 16 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 16 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 17 Sep 2011||4:00pm||Concessions Available, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 17 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 17 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Mon 19 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£10|
|Mon 19 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£10|
|Tue 20 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Tue 20 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Wed 21 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Post-Show Talk||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Thu 22 Sep 2011||4:00pm||Concessions Available, Mid-Week Matinee||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Thu 22 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 23 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Fri 23 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 24 Sep 2011||4:00pm||Concessions Available, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 24 Sep 2011||7:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
|Sat 24 Sep 2011||9:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs||£20|
Sold out Performances
Mondays all seats £10 (available on the day of perf from 9am online, 10am in-person.)
Concessions £5 off (available in advance for all performances until 10 September inclusive and all matinees. For all other performances, available on a standby basis on the day)
Northern Irish Woman
South African Mother
South African Sister
South African Son
Rwandan Husband of Stella
Northern Irish Man B
Northern Irish Man A
Northern Irish Woman A
Rwandan Young Man
Ex Serb Soldier Man 2
South African Grandma
Bosnia Woman's Female Friend
South African Officer
Ex Serb Soldier Man 1
South African Daugher (dead)
4 stars Fiona Mountford, The Evening Standard, Tuesday 6th September 2011
The Royal Court has got the autumn theatre season off to a flying start.
Opening hot on the heels of the lengthy, ambitious scope of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Faith Machine in the Theatre Downstairs comes a short sharp shock Upstairs from the always fascinating Debbie Tucker Green. Truth and Reconciliation might only be just over an hour long but every one of these 65 minutes is taut, stinging and memorable.
A number of chairs are placed on a simple earth floor, which spreads over a circular playing space. We the audience sit around the edges of this small arena, anxiously aware that we’re gathered for an important encounter. The backdrop illuminates suddenly to tell us that we’re in South Africa 1998, at what is obviously a session of the country’s ground-breaking Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A grandmother, mother,
son and daughter arrive. The mother refuses to sit down. She waits. We wait.
In quick, interwoven succession, Tucker Green spins us around the aftermath of some of the most brutal conflicts of recent years. We’re in Rwanda 2005, Bosnia 1996, Zimbabwe 2007 and, belatedly, Northern Ireland 1999, all places where truth and reconciliation are longed for but desperately hard to come by, even in the most well-intentioned hearings. Can the former lead to the latter, even if the truth turns out to be something very different from what those who demand it expect?
Tucker Green has never been a dramatist to waste words and each hard-won statement here is thumped down like a crushing iron fist. When the South African mother (Pamela Nomvete, enormously moving) eventually speaks about the agony of a 22-year wait for news of her murdered daughter, it’s impossible not to feel the wrench of her pain.
There are some who might wish for each situation to have more flesh grafted onto its bare bones but these nameless characters, we quickly accept, represent silent, suffering multitudes. The details of specific incidents would also detract from the potent universality of the notion that words might somehow make amends for violence.
Tucker Green herself directs a cast of 22 in a production that never lets up in power, pathos or atmosphere. The Court has set the bar high.
Dominic Maxwell, The Times, Tuesday 6th of September 2011
How, in little more than an hour, do you dramatise the fallout from internecine hostility in five of the world’s hotspots? In her ambitious but typically elliptical new play, Debbie Tucker Green imagines post-conflict confrontations in South Africa in 1998, Rwanda in 2005, Bosnia in 1996, Zimbabwe in 2007 and Northern Ireland in 1999.
We sit around the action on the same kind of wooden chairs as the huge cast of 22 often find themselves perched on, each character involved in the process of “restorative justice” as initiated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of post-apartheid South Africa. Reconciliation and truth remain scarce commodities, however you legislate for them.
Tucker Green’s previous play here, the excellent Random — which was turned into a Channel 4 drama last month — depicted a South London stabbing by focusing on the domestic details around it. In Truth and Reconciliation she again tries to draw the big picture by offering us fragmentary details.
The South African family urging the mother to take a seat while they wait for the white policeman who killed her eldest child 22 years earlier. The Serbian men chatting about drinking and smoking before the arrival of the pregnant Bosnian Muslim woman whom one of them raped. Nobody quite agrees on what the rules are: the Rwandan Tutsi father and brother of a murdered man try to downplay the widow’s rage as she meets her husband’s Hutu killer. A mother from Northern Ireland who gives only aggro to the couple who want her expression of regret.
The details are finely drawn, the acting strong, yet the concentrated theatricality obstructs as well as enables. The fragmentary structure gives us not one but five openings, and the seriousness of the circumstances and the mystery of what’s going on can be portentous. We ache to get past denial and obfuscation, long to find out what this is all leading to.
Now, sure, that’s the idea — Tucker Green asks us to join the dots while quietly moving us towards some kind of resolution. When the big showdowns come, when the victims truly have their say and make their tormentors truly feel their pain, they are conversations with the dead.
She is giving us a taste of the catharsis we long for, yet it is wish-fulfilment, fantasy. 4 stars Claire Alfree, The Metro, Wednesday 7th September 2011
Debbie Tucker Green’s plays often resemble memorials: Random, recently adapted for C4, was about the death of a teenage boy, while 2007’s Generations was an elegy to an African family wiped out by Aids.
At the same time, her work is driven by an urgent need to bear witness, in which theatre itself becomes the platform, and this extraordinary new play, which she also directs, is perhaps her greatest fusion yet of remembrance and testimony.
Outside the auditorium, the walls are scribbled with the names of those who have died in conflicts in countries including Rwanda and Northern Ireland. Inside, those left behind gather in a series of truth and reconciliation sessions to give voice to their suffering and loss, and in some instances, come face to face with those they accuse.
As ever, Green’s intimate, incantatory language combines simplicity with rhythmic muscularity but this time, the very act of speaking becomes the dramatic focus of a play in which sitting down next to someone else is a political act.
The ghosts of two victims also appear, cleverly bringing into question the veracity of individual testimony but also, in this spare, scrupulously acted production, adding a haunting personal dimension to a play in which the voices of a few represent the unheard voices of thousands and thousands more.
Killian Fox, The Observer, Sunday 11th September 2011
What happens when aggressors in conflict situations come face-to-face with the relatives of their victims? This is the question posed in this short new play written and directed by Debbie Tucker Green, and anyone familiar with this British playwright’s work might guess that she does not answer it in a straightforward manner. More important than confrontation and catharsis to Green is how language falters, dies, and unexpectedly bursts into life, during five “truth and reconciliation” sessions in countries such as Rwanda and Northern Ireland. There is little in the way of reconciliation, and the catharsis, when it finally arrives, feels problematic. Still, this is a compelling and intriguing piece, and Green was brave to forge her bitter poetry out of such emotive material.
Thu 1 Sep, 7:00pm Fri 2 Sep, 7:00pm Sat 3 Sep, 7:00pm Tue 6 Sep, 7:00pm Tue 6 Sep, 9:00pm Wed 7 Sep, 7:00pm Thu 8 Sep, 4:00pm Thu 8 Sep, 7:00pm Fri 9 Sep, 7:00pm Fri 9 Sep, 9:00pm Sat 10 Sep, 4:00pm Sat 10 Sep, 7:00pm Sat 10 Sep, 9:00pm Thu 15 Sep, 4:00pm Sat 17 Sep, 4:00pm Thu 22 Sep, 4:00pm Sat 24 Sep, 4:00pm
Thu 1 Sep, 7:00pm Fri 2 Sep, 7:00pm Sat 3 Sep, 7:00pm
Mon 5 Sep, 7:00pm
Thu 8 Sep, 4:00pm Thu 15 Sep, 4:00pm Thu 22 Sep, 4:00pm
Sat 10 Sep, 4:00pm Sat 17 Sep, 4:00pm Sat 24 Sep, 4:00pm
Wed 21 Sep, 7:00pm