The Believers

By Bryony Lavery


The Believers


A Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth production in association with Curve, Leicester

First performed on 21st February 2014 at The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Wide shot of a high-ceilinged room with chequered floor. On the floor, a wooden chair. Invisibly suspended above the chair and to the left is a woman; her eyes closed, mouth slightly open, and arms outstretched. She looks as though she's floating
This post is written by: Scott Graham Artistic Director

For my first show as sole director I wanted to shake things up a little.

I did not want to rely on any of the crutches that we might lean on in making a Frantic show. I wanted to question everything.

Every item of set or prop had to earn its place on stage based on its resonance with the characters.

As this show was about the shattering of memory and notions of truth after a traumatic event I felt that this minimal detailing was crucial.

A woman sits on a metals framework staircase; it's not clear how high-up she is. Yellow spotlights casts light on and around her

I wanted this show to be about belief, how we construct our own and how we can crush or covet others.

It was not a comment on religion. It was more about how we come to acknowledge truth. Does that come from a conviction inside or is it impossible without corroboration? Is it also skewed by our desire for comfort and reassurance?

I had a brilliant creative team who all embraced that call to be brave and shake the piece down to its minimalist core.

Set and props were stripped right back and Andy Purves' brilliant lighting design was degrees of intensity of open white. No gels. It was a very intense but fun rehearsal process.

I felt a certain trepidation being seen and judged as a solo director for the first time but I felt totally supported by the team.

A woman stands, blurred in the foreground. To her right, a man stands smiling at her

The Believers was dark and touching and had amazing reactions from audiences. I am as proud of the show as I am of the brave and honest way in which we made it.

For my part, I felt a lot of my conviction came from my positive experiences working on and with the creative team of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. (Of course I might just have been relieved that I didn't totally mess it up!)