It may be a global village but can three actors make all the world a stage? Chris Thorpe tells TAMZIN LEWIS about the thought-provoking new show What I Heard About The World
“The stories have come to us independently from all over the world and have been verified. Many of the stories are from conversations and this show is an attempt to put genuine stories, which will be surprising, together in new ways.”
The research period led Chris and fellow performers Alexander Kelly and Jorge Andrade to hone in on specific stories where stand-ins are used to replace first-hand experience.
Chris explains: “No one has been everywhere in the world, so there are huge areas in our mental maps of the world which are made up of things that we have been told.”
In response to the vast emptiness of our mental maps, the company developed a companion piece to What I Heard About The World called Story Map.
This is an interactive performance, recently staged at Arc in Stockton, where stories are collected for each country in the world over a 12-hour period.
Chris says: “There was a real buzz about this at Stockton, as it’s not just for the people in the room who come in and out. Some brilliant people did come into the Arc but 23,000 more people accessed Story Map by other means.”
So of these thousands of people who have shared their tales with Chris, Alexander and Jorge, has anyone ever told a tall story?
Chris replies: “We have been told plenty of stories which have elements of urban myth. But we have only been told one conscious lie by someone having a laugh. He told us that Granada in the Caribbean was always used as a stand-in for the countries that The A-Team went to when they were battling dictators. He had done his research and appeared credible, but it wasn’t true.”
What I Heard About The World is at Northern Stage until Friday. www.northernstage.co.uk