It's True, It's True, It's True

Breach Theatre

Overview

New to international touring, Breach is a devised theatre company creating bold shows that blend drama and documentary. Its core team collaborates with performers to create socially engaged, innovative shows that blend subtle humour with a sharp political edge. The artists combine documentary and verbatim theatre techniques with devising and new writing. Their unique performance style has won the company critical acclaim and two Fringe Firsts.

It's True, It's True, It's True is an all-female verbatim courtroom drama. It restages the 1612 trial of baroque painter Agostino Tassi for the rape of his student Artemisia Gentileschi, taking inspiration from the court transcripts and Gentileschi's paintings. Swapping roles and genders, the performers blend history, myth and contemporary commentary in an intelligent and highly charged show. Clashing modern dress and period costume, rock and baroque music, verbatim testimony and devised theatre, It's True recovers the voice of a woman who lived 400 years ago. It speaks directly to today's gender politics and male abuses of power.

It's True is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In the press

“Consistently exciting ... uneasily current” The Financial Times

“Gripping court drama ... roaring down the ages” The Guardian

“There is little to match this” The Times

Production details

  • Devisor

    Cast of production
  • Director

    Billy Barrett
  • Designer

    Set designer: Luke W. Robson, Costume designer: Kitty Hawkins, Lighting designer: Lucy Adams
  • Number of people on stage

    3
  • Number of people in touring company

    5
  • Freight

    Freight

    Details available on request

  • Touring Availability

    From January 2020
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    5m x 4.5m
  • Text-based

    Dense (important for audiences to have a good understanding of English)
  • Also contains:

    Nudity, Sexually Explicit Material, Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Underbelly, Cowbarn Bristo Pl, Edinburg, EH1 1EZ
  • Production dates

    16–26 AUGUST
  • Production times

    1300–1405
  • Duration

    65 MINS
  • Audience capacity

    276

Contact

Wraparound

Breach deliver workshops and post-show discussions alongside It’s True, It’s True, It’s True including:

1: “If it were not the truth I would not have said it”: Fact and fiction in documentary and verbatim theatre

Topics: The practical and ethical considerations required in making a devised show based on historical events, drawing on archival materials. How did Breach research, write and devise It’s True and how closely does it mirror the historical facts known about Artemisia’s life and works? How did the company deal with the conflicting accounts of the trial?

2: “I will have control over my being”: Feminist theatre and the #Metoo movement

Topics: The political motivations of making this show now, particularly in the contemporary context of the #metoo conversations – which have exposed gender imbalances and abuses of power within today’s creative industries that mirror Artemisia’s situation in 1612. How did the cast feel recreating a historical trial that feels so true to today, and what does it mean for three women to tell this story? Did the Brett Kavanaugh trial and other high-profile media events influence the devising process?

3: Legal Drama: Restaging an early modern trial

Topics: The research and creative processes of devising theatre based on legal proceedings, and the theatricality of courtrooms themselves. How did Breach research early modern and contemporary courtrooms for the production, and what are the similarities and differences? Reflections from Carol Rutter – who researches and teaches Shakespeare and the law – on European renaissance law and the show’s similarities to Shakespearean legal dramas.

4: “Who’s going to believe you?”: Rape trials from 1612 to 2019

Topics: The similarities and differences between early modern rape trials and those that take place today – including changes to the law and increased legal rights for women, as well as the accusations, tropes, and lines of questioning that remain dispiritingly unchanged. Reflections from a Bristol-based practicing lawyer on the above topics.

All workshops available on request.