Written by Ben Harrison and Dr Jenny Scott.
An immersive theatre co-production between Grid Iron and Traverse Theatre.
2nd – 7th October 2017
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Juror participation is not a feature of our criminal trials. But what if the system could be different?
Inspired by the pioneering work of Dr Jenny Scott, this immersive play transforms Traverse 1 into a courtroom where barriers are deconstructed and jurors take centre stage.
We tune into the thoughts, fears and anxieties of fifteen jurors, selected from the audience, as they struggle to stay focused in a high profile murder trial. What does ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ actually mean? Why is all the evidence presented in an illogical order?
Peter the Judge is disaffected too. For years he has watched as the jurors struggled with understanding the complexities of evidence and cross-examination. Maybe it’s time for a change, for an experiment in democracy.
Grid Iron bring their 21 year-old multi-award winning expertise and audience-centred work to bear on the dynamics of a courtroom; re-imagining the architecture, the subtle oppressions and the failure to deal with prejudice.
Photo credit: Mihaela Bodlovic
What The Press Said:
Grid Iron are a highly inventive theatre company, renowned for their immersive work… Using audience members as part of an intrinsically embedded cast is no mean feat and somehow, in brief interludes backstage, the group are presumably given instructions that result in – relatively, given the scenario – complex ensemble work. It all adds to the realness and edginess of the performance… Jury Play opens the door to dialogue in the legal system with this well thought out, intelligent and relatable piece. You may think a play about jurors is irrelevant, but if/when the day comes where you find yourself reporting to court (for whatever reason), you might just think again.The Fountain
Sometimes the power and excitement of a show begin long before you take your seat and remain with you for several days after … it’s worth saying at this point that this is in no way like your standard trip to the theatre… the meat of the piece really comes out as an intelligent, human, and common sense discussion into the way we conduct trials… the fourth wall isn’t so much broken as shattered, with a piece of it distributed to each and every person in the room… Overall this is a fascinating insight into the legal system, what it’s like to be a jury member, and how seemingly unfit for purpose the whole setup is – especially for people like me who have very little knowledge of its intricacies.Edinburgh 49 ****
From start to finish the experience is made as close to taking part in a spot of jury service as is possible to get without actually doing it…. Making a piece of theatre as dull as a day in a courtroom while maintaining an audience’s engagement is not easy to pull off. It helps that John Bett, as the Judge, is highly entertaining even when delivering ponderous tediousness, but this intriguing play gets you thinking and raises important questions for which there are, as yet, no answers.EdinburghGuide ****
Stepping into another world is not unusual for an audience attending a new piece of theatre by Edinburgh based site-specific auteurs Grid Iron…. a genuine stab at democracy is let loose in the courtroom in the most civil of ways. This is done through an eminently playful set of exchanges… The end result is a fascinatingly drawn out fanfare for the common man and woman that puts the judicial system in the dock and finds it wanting.The Herald ****
Cast & Creative Team:
John Bett Judge
Mary Gapinski Ms Kennedy (Defence)
Neil John Gibson Kenny
Sean Hay Macer/Policeman/Mr Dancer
Helen Mackay Janis
Kirstin Murray Ms Bell (Prosecutor)
Gail Watson Mrs gray/Macer/G4S Officer
FOR GRID IRON
Writer & Director Ben Harrison
Writer Dr Jenny Scott
Producer Judith Doherty
Assistant Director/Transmedia Design Rob Jones
Set & Costume Design Emily James
Music & Sound Design David Paul Jones
Lighting Design Paul Claydon
Video Design Lewis den Hertog
Stage Manager Gemma Turner
Deputy Stage Manager/Clerk to the Court Lauren Roberts
Costume Supervisor Sophie Ferguson
Finance & Development Manager Deborah Crewe
Set built by Big House Events
Print design by Emma Quinn
FOR THE TRAVERSE THEATRE
Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin
Executive Producer Linda Crooks
Associate Director (Dramaturgical Support) Zinnie Harris
Production Manager Kevin McCallum
Chief Electrician Renny Robertson
Deputy Electrician Claire Elliot
Lighting and Sound Technician Tom Saunders
Head of Stage Gary Staerk
Set Storage CR Smith
Stage Management Alison White
Technical Sophie Wright
Sound Design Gavin Russell
The shows are listed in chronological order with the most recent first.