Dialogue/ Documentation

Central to Dialogue’s work to shift the relationship between people who make, watch and write about theatre is a belief that critics can do more to record and respond to theatre than simply writing 500-word reviews and attaching a star rating. We believe in a spectrum of critical writing, which isn’t limited to seeing a show once and writing about it immediately: we also aim to think about the process of making work and how it changes when repeated night after night in front of audiences; and to respond creatively, as artists and theatre-makers, not journalists. This practice, often called “embedded” criticism, might mean working closely with theatre-makers, attending rehearsals, watching work develop over multiple performances, or being fully immersed in a festival, responding to its programme on a daily basis.

Companies and festivals we have worked with to date include:

Chris Goode & Company: Maddy has been critic-in-residence with CG&Co since the company began in 2011, attending rehearsals and performances and tracing lines of connection between Chris and other theatre-makers and companies.

Dirty Market: Jake created Dirty Digital Market in response to the rehearsal process for the company’s show Be Good Revolutionaries.

In Between Time: Maddy joined IBT15 to create Gathering Storm, a digital project collating conversations, discussions and responses to the programme and its stormy themes.

Coney: After attending rehearsals and multiple performances of Coney’s interactive show Early Days (of a Better Nation), Maddy created an archive of diaries and letters capturing the different ways in which audiences had played during the show, all based in fact but filtered through fiction. Scratch versions of this work can be found here.

If you are interested in talking to us further about documentation and embedded criticism, or would like to work with us, please contact us.

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