There Has Possibly Been an Incident at the Soho Theatre
For a production that makes no use of costumes, sets or musical score, the cast of Sam Pritchard’s There Has Possibly Been an Incident by Chris Thorpe provocatively recreates the emotion and drama that accompany tragedies we hope to never endure, using predominantly the tone, pitch and nuance of their voices. With minimal blocking, intertwined monologues and a single recurring scene, Gemma Brockis, Nigel Barrett and Yusra Warsama are convincing and fervent as they convey the horrors of occurrences like violent protests, plane malfunctions and mass shootings. Suspenseful and startling in the honesty that comes from deciding whether to comply with the norm or act independently of convention, the trio each bring an element of distinct realism to their characters.
Brockis is initially quite monotonous in her enactment; you will yourself to focus on what she says or else it washes over you in one long run-on sentence. However, as the narrative progresses it becomes clear that her unaffected tone is simply how she chooses to cope with the blood on her hands. We learn that an order she made ended the lives of many and now as she retells the experience, there is only numbness.
In complete contrast, Warsama captures your attention from the moment you hear her voice. Every word she recites rings with emotion and she embodies the resigned sadness of a woman ridden with guilt. The meticulous way in which she describes the subtle signs on a flight that tell you something is awry creates anxiety at the mere thought, and when she finally reveals the decision she was forced to make, the tears that stream down her face make the situation that much more lifelike.
Although Barrett’s act appears to be the medium between the two actresses, when he transforms into the mass shooter, killing young boys and girls working towards the integration of immigrants, his blank stare and composed expression become chilling. As he answers for the lives he’s taken in a conference-style setting, his responses are illogical and deluded but in his conviction, he creates the most disturbing villain: the villain of hate.
Although minimal effort is paid to showmanship, the authenticity of these performances is far more effective than any prop.
There Has Possibly Been an Incident is at the Soho Theatre until 5th October 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.