An article by Tim Crouch
The Author tells the story of another play: a violent, shocking and abusive play written by a playwright called Tim Crouch and performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. The Author charts the effect that play had on the two actors who acted in it, the playwright who wrote it and an audience member who watched it. It also draws links to the broader world in which such a play could be written and presented a world saturated by images of violence and governed by the media-distorted need for impact. It also examines the consequences of this mediated need in both art and the everyday.
The Author is set in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs and is performed within its audience. There is no stage, just two banks of raked seating facing each other, with no gap in between. The actors of The Author are seated amongst the audience. The audience is gently un-tethered from their traditional mooring in the theatre. Their presence is acknowledged. They are seen, spoken to, cared for and treated to light-shows, music and chocolates!
The Author is a play about what it is to be a spectator and about our responsibilities as spectators. It explores the connection between what we see and what we do. I feel strongly that we have lost a thread of responsibility for what we choose to look at. The Author uses only words to show us things and sometimes the things those words show us are disturbing. It is not a play for children but it IS a play for audiences.
The Author is my fourth play for adult audiences. It’s directed by my two longterm collaborators Karl James and Andy Smith (Andy works under the name a smith). Andy and Karl have been on the voyage of this play since I first started talking to them about it in 2007. We are very excited to be finally taking the play to where it belongs inside its audience.