The power of a whisper

The power of a whisper

12 April 2017

There's too much at too intense a volume for Kate Wyver to feel the full effect of Say it Loud

Say it Loud is a tangled web of wanting to do the right thing.

Twenty writers have contributed to this spoken-word essay, offering thoughts and stories responding to the refugee crisis.

The ambition behind the piece is commendable, and the heart of the show is entirely in the right place. Director Josie Davies and her team have orchestrated an admirable collection of responses to the crisis, with one or two exceptional theatrical concepts. However, in performance the curation of these words lacks delicacy.

Stories and statistics are chucked in clumsy chunks, and the audience are given no room to breathe. In the intimate space, words are thrown at the walls at such a volume that they almost ricochet back.

The actors are joined every night by a guest writer. They respond to the latest news headlines concerning the crisis, picked afresh for each show. However, the full potential of this liveness doesn’t feel entirely used. Last night, the Dunkirk camp caught fire. Two of the headlines were about this, but it was totally ignored from both the piece itself and the written response. This is of course no fault of the writer, who has every freedom to respond in whichever way they choose, but perhaps the liveness of the piece could be used to inform the show as a whole, and to respond more directly to the immediate events of this ongoing crisis.

If we want people to change their minds about the refugee crisis and start acting, I’m just not sure this is the best way to go about it. The salt, the song and the letters are beautiful ideas, but the care in these actions doesn’t translate to the text. I want more delicacy and less shouting.

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Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca