The Events by David Greig is a play written to represent the horrific mass murders that have taken place around the world. Based on the terrors in Norway by Anders Breivik from 2011, the story focuses around characters The Boy, the killer, and a surviving victim and priest, Claire. The play was held at the Traverse Theatre, and it was our first experience in the space since talking about the place during our Traverse Through Time lectures.
One of the nice things about the show was that I was part of the team responsible for conducting the pre-show research to educate our class on the plot and history of both the show and its producing company. It was also a downside because it led to many assumptions, expectations, and questions about how the performers would act out such intense moments. Though there was a great deal of build up, the show did not disappoint.
The mood of the piece was immediately eerie and a little confusing because there was a full choir filing onstage. Having previously done research, we knew (though it was fairly obvious) that the choir had only been rehearsed for 90 minutes immediately before the performance. Aside from that, they had never seen nor heard the full play. This was slightly unsettling until they started singing and the story began. The two rehearsed characters, Claire and The Boy, emerged onstage, and the crowd was swept into the emotion and details of their story. It was a two hour mind boggling journey through social constructs and mental stability (and lack thereof).
It was one incredible show because of all the unique facets. The story was non-linear, and the male actor played a handful of different characters, and the almost unsuspecting choir were such integral and unusual parts of the program that it was hard not to enjoy at least some aspect of the show. The absolute best part about the show was that it was universal, exploring the emotions of disasters from anywhere in the world.